`Move towards internal resource generation'

Staff Reporter

V-Cs asked to come up with alternate solutions

NEW DELHI: Calling upon Central universities across the country to move towards internal resource generation to meet their growing needs, Union Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal told Vice-Chancellors of Central universities on Friday to come up with out-of-the-box solutions rather than simply depending on the Government.

Speaking on the closing day of the Third Conference of Central University Vice-Chancellors at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) here, Mr. Sibal said unless universities came up with alternative forms of resource mobilisation, the goals of the 21st Century would be difficult to achieve.

Putting across a common demand for more funding and freedom, the Vice-Chancellors of 18 Central universities across the country felt that the University Grants Commission (UGC) should act as a facilitator and not controller.

While demanding a substantial increase in the allocation for higher education, the Vice-Chancellors felt that the UGC should not reduce the budgetary allocations of an institute if it manages to generate resources on its own. It was also felt that universities needed to take a fresh look at their statutes and make changes if necessary.

With most universities unable to focus on research due to resource crunch, the final draft has also recommended that the overhead on science projects be increased to a minimum of 30 per cent of the total allocated budget.

It was felt that the current system of recruiting faculty was not helping tap the best of talent across the country. Noting that universities should be encouraged to have flexible rules to attract, recruit and retain experts as faculty, the Vice-Chancellors said that the universities should be allowed to recruit at different levels within the overall sanctioned total number of posts.

"There have been many cases where we have been unable to recruit Ph.D. holders from abroad as they don't have the NET qualification. Many qualified people who want to return to India and teach are unable to do so because of this requirement. There should be more flexibility and freedom for universities to choose from the best talent available to them,'' said JNU Vice-Chancellor B.B.Bhattacharya.

Apart from the introduction of a more lucrative package that could attract more young people to take up teaching, it was also recommended that the current requirement of taking a clearance from the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development for allowing members to participate in international conferences should be done away with.

Emphasising the need for a foundation grants for new universities, it was felt that older universities should be provided funds for repair and maintenance of their buildings. Even as the Minister said that the Government would be opening three new universities in the North-East and upgrading 15 universities to institutes of excellence, the university representatives felt that the Government should first focus on upgrading the existing universities instead of diverting the funds to new institutes.

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