Tamil Nadu

Anna varsity mulls raising the bar for promotions

Opinion divided among faculty members on the desirability of stringent norms

To improve the research quality of its faculty members, Anna University is considering introducing stringent rules for promotion.

The university began interviews with prospective candidates for promotion recently. A panel of experts, including Vice-Chancellor M.K. Surappa, the Chancellor’s nominee and the head of department, has been conducting interviews. Sources said two departments had completed the evaluation process.

Candidates were asked to provide details of the number of research publications and the number of Ph.D. candidates supervised/guided, as required.

However, a section of professors claimed that such stipulations could further delay the implementation of the Career Advancement Scheme. Besides, the All India Council for Technical Education had not stipulated such norms, they pointed out.

According to some faculty members, Mr. Surappa had sought to raise the bar for promotion, and had held discussions with the faculty chairmen and sought their suggestions.

New norms

The new norms stipulate that to be promoted from assistant professor to associate professor, a candidate should have published at least two research articles in peer-reviewed journals and be eligible to become a supervisor for Ph.D. students. For promotion to professorship, the candidate should have guided at least one Ph.D. student.

The time frame of eligibility for promotion from associate professor to professorship is only three years. Teachers say it is impossible to guide a student in just three years. But some researchers disagree. “The career development scheme is a minimum prescribed norm. The university has the right to fix a higher level. The requirements are all very nominal. Faculty are expected to anticipate it and work towards achieving the norms,” explained a professor.

However, an Anna University Teachers’ Association member said, “These rules are arbitrary and have been brought in when the CAS interview process is on. This will deny promotions to many.”

“The amended rules can be implemented in the next CAS as the University had not informed about them before. Moreover, juniors will overtake seniors and become professors, which is not fair, and that will result in non-cooperation in the department,” the member added.

Meanwhile, on Monday, prof. Surappa is expected to place the proposal at the Syndicate meeting for approval.

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Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 9:35:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/anna-varsity-mulls-raising-the-bar-for-promotions/article24850544.ece

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