Concerned over the severe shortage of teachers for paper evaluation, the Mahatma Gandhi University is considering a proposal to set up a panel of retired teachers for evaluation duty.

The latest move is part of the ongoing efforts to step up the quality of evaluation of the papers of various undergraduate and postgraduate programmes offered by the varsity.

Vice-Chancellor A. V. George told The Hindu on Monday that preliminary discussions had begun on forming a panel of retired teachers for carrying out valuation of answer scripts.

Dr. George said the appointment of retired teachers on valuation duty would help in reducing the workload of existing teachers. It would also help in reducing complaints that a section of teachers was not serious about the evaluation of answer scripts.

Asked whether the university planned to penalise erring teachers in tune with the decision taken by the Kerala University, the Vice-Chancellor said it was not practical. He said the university could always take steps to prevent such incidents but had no legal cover to take disciplinary action against teachers for careless evaluation. The Kerala University had slapped a fine of Rs.2,500 each on seven teachers for committing errors while valuing answer scripts.

Admitting that there were many incidents of careless valuation of answer scripts by teachers, Dr. George recalled a case where a teacher had awarded the same mark for several students. He said the faculty member resigned from the post even before the varsity authorities could initiate any disciplinary action.

As per the preliminary proposal, the services of retired teachers would be used only for valuation duty. The supervisory powers would remain with the serving teachers. The university authorities might also impose a minimum ‘out of service’ limit for retired teachers being empanelled for valuation duty to ensure transparency.

The services of retired teachers would be initially used for the valuation of answer sheets of postgraduate examinations.

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