TAMIL NADU

Summer school for faculty improvement

TIRUCHI, AUG 21. The Anna University has planned a "sequential summer school" for the skill and knowledge upgradation of the faculty of engineering colleges from next year, the Vice-Chancellor of the university, E. Balagurusamy, said today.

Intensive training programmes, based on the ME curriculum, would be conducted spread over three or four successive summers to enable the college faculty to improve their knowledge and teaching skills. The programme would be organised after obtaining the approval of the varsity Syndicate, Mr. Balagurusamy told mediapersons after inspecting the counselling session at the National Institute of Technology here.

Conceding that shortage of qualified faculty posed a problem to the institutions, Mr. Balagurusamy however observed that if the colleges offered good pay scales they would be able to attract qualified professionals from the industry. The varsity was also conducting training programmes through its Centre for Faculty Development and over 3,000 faculty members from affiliate colleges have undergone the same. Colleges were also encouraged to start ME programmes and 10 per cent of the ME seats were reserved for college faculty. Over 2,000 faculty members of various affiliate colleges have registered for Ph.D, he said.

He also stressed the need for a public debate on evolving a national policy on admissions to professional colleges to avoid problems and litigations in the existing systems in different States. The Union Ministry of Human Resources Development in consultation with the State Governments, the All India Council for Technical Education and the University Grants Commission, should evolve a policy taking into consideration the local conditions, he said.

On complaints of excess fee collection by some of the self-financing engineering colleges, Mr. Balagurusamy said though he had been receiving such reports parents were not willing to come up with specific written complaints to enable the varsity to initiate action against the erring college managements. Nevertheless, he had kept the Raman Committee and the State Government posted on the issue.

Mr. Balagurusamy stated that about 30 per cent of the candidates called for the counselling under the single-window system had failed to turn up. When asked about the prospect of a large number of engineering seats going abegging, the Vice-Chancellor felt that there was no need to get exercised over the issue, as reputed colleges with good infrastructure did not face much problem in filling up their seats.

He also stated that over half-a-dozen colleges without proper infrastructure had been barred from admitting students this year. Besides, about 30 colleges have been barred from admitting students in specific branches. The university Syndicate would finalise the action to be taken on the S.A. Rajah group of colleges in the Southern districts for admitting students by submitting forged mark-sheets. The enquiry into the issue has already been completed. Action was also being initiated against colleges, which were found to have submitted bogus community certificates, he said.

Mr. Balagurusamy interacted with the students and parents who had come for the counselling and urged the students to select courses based on their aptitude. He also urged them to check the reputation of the colleges, the infrastructure and faculty availability. "Pursuing a lower end course in a good institution was better than going in for a much sought after course in a college with poor infrastructure," he said.

Out of the 2508 candidates for the counselling at the NIT till Saturday, 1671 have been allotted seats with 801 candidates failing to turn up.