Move follows violation in Rajasthan University

State universities may be denied grants for violating UGC regulations on appointment of Vice-Chancellors. Starved of funds, they can ill-afford to lose this source.

The move comes amid reports of violation of the UGC Regulation on Minimum Qualifications for Appointment of Teachers and Other Academic Staff in Universities and Colleges and Measures for Maintenance of Standards in Higher Education, 2010 by a search committee constituted to select the VC for Rajasthan University.

The committee included on the short list an eligible person on ‘directions’ from the office of the Chancellor, according to a panel member who did not wish to be quoted.

The VC selection process was concluded on July 7. The search committee members, who included Syed Hasnain, former VC of Hyderabad Central University and currently member of the UGC, and H.P Dikshit former VC of IGNOU, were advised to ignore the UGC regulations.

As word spread, the Rajasthan University Teachers’ Association shot off a letter to the Chancellor seeking her intervention in ensuring that UGC regulations were strictly adhered to. The new VC should not be someone from outside the academia, the association said. A delegation of academics, led by association president Jayant Singh met the Chancellor.

According to the UGC regulations, a person to be appointed Vice-Chancellor should have worked as a professor or equivalent for at least 10 years. There are also requirements of published works and/or research.

Yash Pal panel report

The Human Resource Development Ministry and the UGC have consistently taken a stand in courts that governance and administration of universities have a direct bearing on maintenance of standards, as was recommended also by the Yash Pal Committee on rejuvenation of universities in 2008. The Ministry and the UGC defended in the Supreme Court the Tandon Committee review of deemed universities in respect of eligibility of their VCs.

Sources in the Commission say if state universities, which depend on the UGC’s grants for development, do not respect its regulations, it would find it extremely difficult to regulate private universities established by State legislatures or deemed universities, notified by the Central government, which are self-financed, even though the Supreme Court held in the Yash Pal matter that the private university regulations, 2003, were binding on private universities.

In the past, the UGC stopped funding to M.D. University in Rohtak for non-implementation of the reservation policy and to Guwahati University for flouting norms against commercialisation through franchising in 2011-2012.