AICTE lays down Study Leave Guidelines for Teachers

AICTE has laid down comprehensive guidelines for availing Study Leave for the Teachers and other Academic Staff in Institutions approved by AICTE, who have joined the teaching services without without M. Tech./ Ph. D or other higher qualification.

The Guidelines prescribe that Study leave may be granted to pursue for study (M.E./M. Tech./ Ph. D) or research in the relevant discipline after a minimum of three years in regular service including the probation period. Study Leave keeping in mind the availability of teachers in the discipline and the vacant positions so that the regular academic work is not disturbed while granting study leave. Study leave shall be granted by the Institution on the recommendation of the concerned Head of the Department.

The paid period of study leave should be two/three years for Master/ Doctorial level respectively. Two years may be given in the first instance, extendable by one more year for Ph. D program. Any extension beyond the stipulated period shall be treated as leave without Pay.

However, such benefit can be availed only once during the entire service and will not be available to a teacher who is due to retire within five years of the date on which he/she is expected to return to duty. Study leave granted to a teacher shall be deemed to be cancelled in case it is not availed of within 12 months of its sanction. Provided that where study leave granted has been so cancelled, the teacher may apply again for such leave.

A teacher availing Study Leave shall continue to receive scholarship, fellowship or other financial assistance, in addition to the Salary being received by him at his home Institution. However, in the case of an Indian fellowship, which exceeds the salary of the teacher, the salary would be forfeited.

Study leave may be combined with earned leave, half-Pay leave, extraordinary leave or vacation, provided that the earned leave at the credit of the teacher shall be availed at the discretion of the teacher.

Another salient feature of the Scheme is that a teacher, who is selected to a higher post during study leave, will be placed in that position and get the higher scale only after joining the post and shall on his/her return and re-joining the service of the Institute be eligible to the benefit(s) of the annual increment(s) which he/she would have earned in the course of time if he/she had not proceeded on study leave. No teacher shall however, be eligible to receive arrears of increments.

Study leave shall count as service for pension/contributory provident fund purposes, provided the teacher joins back in the Institute on the expiry of his/her study leave.

After the leave has been sanctioned, the teacher shall execute a bond that he/she shall serve the Institute for a continuous period of at least three years to be calculated from the date of his/her resuming duty on expiry of the study leave. If the Faculty, fails to observe the conditions, amount paid to him might become refundable to the Institute

The teacher shall submit to the Head of the Institution, the progress report at a frequent interval of 6 months in his/her studies through his/her supervisor. This report shall reach the Head of the Institution of within one month of the expiry of every six months term of the study leave. If the report does not reach within the specified time, the payment of leave salary may be deferred till the receipt of such report.

EduLegaL View

The purpose of study leave is to enable a Faculty to pursue a course or to undertake research, which would improve his potential to serve the Institution and the Students. In that light, this is really a welcome move and will help streamline that process.

But there are few practical issues, How many of the Institutions, do actually follow this and How many of the teachers, do actually return to the Institutions, which granted the Study Leave. The answer is “very few”, which demoralizes such liberal policies.

Let us see, how this New Policy, takes effect !

Ravi Bhardwaj | mail@edulegal.in

 

MHRD constitutes committee to deliberate on setting up Yoga Department and start courses in Yoga in Universities

MHRD after deciding to set up Department of Yogic Art and Science in the Universities during a consultative meeting with Vice Chancellors in Bangalore on 2nd January 2016, has now constituted a Committee under the Chairmanship of Prof. H.R. Nagendra. Chancellor, Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana, Samsthana, Bengaluru to look into the various aspects pertaining to setting up of Departments of Yogic Art and Science.

The Committee will deliberate on other pertinent issues including starting courses and programmes like Certificate, Diploma, Degree, Post Graduate Degree/ Diploma and Research in Yoga and the levels at which they can be offered. This will also mean that the Committee will have to determine eligibility qualifications for students joining Yoga and faculty teaching Yoga.

Infact things come out as expected then Yoga will part of NET Examination which is conducted by UGC every year. The Committee has also been asked to see whether existing departments of yoga in Universities can be upgraded to be developed as Departments Yogic Art and Science.

The Committee also consists of Prof. Suresh Lai Barnwal, Prof. Ishwar Bhardwaj, Prof. Neel Kamal, Swami Atmapriyananda, Pandit Radhey Shyam, Prof. O.P.Tiwari Kaivalayadhama, Prof. Subramanayam, Prof. P.Venkat Rangan and Sri Rupen Bhowmik.

The Committee has been asked to submit its Report within 45 days.

Ranking Framework released for Pharmacy and Architecture Institutions

AICTE, under the aegis of MHRD has released the Parameters and Metrics for Ranking for Pharmacy and Architecture Institutions as part of the National Institutional Ranking Framework.

Earlier, MHRD vide Notification dated 09.10.2014, MHRD had constituted a Committee to suggest a National Framework for performance measurement and ranking of Institutions and Programmes conducted by the Institutions. The Committee was also asked to suggest organizational structure, institutional mechanism and processes for implementation along with time-lines of the National Ranking Framework.

The Committee was of the view that a single ranking framework for complex and diverse education scenario of institutions, as exist in India would be counter productive and meaningless. Hence it decided to follow apple-to-apple approach and proceeded to design a framework in which institutions belonging to different sectoral fields, such as Engineering, Management, etc. should be compared separately in their own respective peer groups. Comprehensive universities, which encompass a large number of academic programs including Arts, Humanities, Sciences etc., should similarly form a separate peer group for comparison. Resultantly, it decided to release Ranking Framework, Parameters and Metrics separately for each category of Institutions.

MHRD then formally, on 29.09.2015 launched the National Institutional Ranking Framework and also released the Parameters and Metrics for Engineering and Management Institutions.

Recently, AICTE, the regulator for Architecture and Pharmacy Education in India has released Parameters and Metrics for Ranking for Pharmacy and Architecture Institutions. The Framework provides that for the purpose of Ranking the Institutions will be divided two categories, first being engaged in Research and Teaching and second being engaged primarily in Teaching.

The Institutions will be assessed and ranked under five broad headings: (1) Teaching, Learning and Resources; (2) Research, Consulting and Collaborative Performance; (3) Graduation Outcomes; (4) Outreach and Inclusivity and (5) Perception.

MHRD has also rolled out participation in Ranking Framework for the Institutions, which are accredited/affiliated to the AICTE/UGC and has also made available a web-based platform the same. The process of submission and participation in the framework has begun from 2nd November 2015.

EduLegaL View:

I have always said that there exists body for assessment and accreditation in this country, like NAAC and NBA and hence MHRD should have attempted to integrate these processes instead of creating separate framework.

A closer look at the term of reference of the Committee, which designed this Framework, also includes, “Suggest linkages with NAAC and NBA, if any.”, as one of the terms of reference. I wonder what has happened to this term of reference.

The Administrators must understand that burdening educational institutions with continued and different assessment is not going to add to their quality, but will reduce their quality.

So where are we going? What are we trying to achieve?

 

NAAC warns Institutions to refrain from Plagiarism in SSR

National Assessment and Accreditation Council [NAAC] taking cognizance of complaints regarding “made up” informations and contents in Self Study Report submitted by the Institutions has warned the Institutions to refrain from venturing into plagiarism.

NAAC in recent past has taken several steps to strengthen the process of Assessment and Accreditation [A&A], which includes compulsory video recording of visits of the Peer Team to the Institutions. It had also issued cautionary Public Notice warning the Institutions about some mischievous agencies, which were conducting workshops claiming assistance in getting Grade “A” and helping in preparing SSR by making up data and contents.

The Revised Procedure of Assessment and Accreditation now involves submitting Letter of Intent (LOI) after uploading the Self-study Report (SSR) on the institutional website. Upon acceptance of LOI, the institution has to submit the SSR within two weeks and thereafter Peer Team visits for the purpose of Assessment followed by the declaration of Accreditation.

NAAC has developed different manuals which provide information on how the self-study report (SSR) is to be prepared, the criteria and key aspects to be addressed and the style of presentation. Still, SSR Preparation it seems has developed as big market and so called experts are helping in preparation and sale of SSRs for a big sum, with colleges ready to bear and cover these expenses.

SSR is the most critical document for the purpose of accreditation. It is like an answer sheet. It contains the vision and mission statement of the Institution, its strengths, infrastructure, facilities and amenities. It also draws the future plan of Institutions. NAAC has found that some Institutions are copying contents from SSR, which are available on the website of participating institutions and passing it as their own.

Considering the importance of SSR in process of Assessment and Accreditation and continuing with the cleansing measure, NAAC after receiving complaints regarding unfair practices of Plagiarism adopted by institutions in the preparation of the self-study report has therefore requested the Institutions to ensure that all claims made in the self-study report are validated prior to its submission to NAAC.

It has also resolved and sent a strong message that any institution indulging in any unfair practice will be debarred from applying for accreditation.

Being debarred from applying for accreditation will mean havoc for erring Institution, as under the UGC (Mandatory Assessment and accreditation of Higher Educational Institutions) Regulations, 2012, which makes it mandatory for educational institutions to participate in accreditation process, any Institution which is not participating in process of Accreditation will be subject to punitive measures, which may include withholding of grant, revocation of affiliation.

EduLegal View

Before, I give my view, please know that one of the questions in the SSR to be submitted by the Institution is as follows:

3.4.6 What is the official policy of the university to check malpractices and plagiarism in research? Mention the number of plagiarism cases reported and action taken.

It is ironical that the erring participating Institution, which would obviously speak epics in answering the question, would indulge in plagiarism.

Plagiarism is like a sin, it is an act of fraud, and it is an Intellectual Theft and must be dealt with strongly. It is utter violation of institutional and academic ethics. Laws are inadequate to deal with these situations. It has been handled by executive orders. Even the UGC Accreditation Regulations, 2012 does not have any express provision for the same. It is high time that Centre must bring in effective law to deal with malpractices and unfair trade practices in educational institutions.

Foreign Degrees of Short Duration due to credit transfer, credit exemptions will now be recognized in India: AIU

Since degrees awarded by an Indian University are generally recognized by all universities in the country, there is no major problem on this account. But issue arises when a student has achieved a degree from Foreign University and seeks recognition of that degree in India.

Initially, the equivalence was accorded by the AIU on course-to-course basis only after the proposal for equivalence of foreign qualification was received from an Indian Mission aboard or from the university concerned.

As the mobility of students increased across a wide range of universities in many different countries and the number of cases seeking AIU equivalence multiplied, the then practice of case by case evaluation of each request was found time consuming and unsustainable. The policy was therefore changed to recognize the system of education on the basis of such parameters as (a) Eligibility requirements for admission; (b) Duration of the programme; and (c) Accreditation status of the University concerned.

Recognizing the difficulties faced by students on account of the fact that many a foreign universities allow students to complete their programme of studies in less than the prescribed duration either due to exemption from certain number of credits, or due to acceptance of certain credits already taken or because a student is permitted to take certain credits during vacation etc, the AIU has in depth considered the issue of degrees awarded in lesser duration in terms of years of studies than applicable in case of Indian universities and has resolved to accord equivalence the foreign degrees in cases where the prescribed programme duration is at least the same as prescribed in India but a student was awarded degree within a shorter duration due to credit transfer, exemption and summer/winter courses, AIU has decided to grant certain relaxation in according equivalence in the following situations:

(a) Degrees awarded in lesser duration in terms of years of studies than applicable in case of Indian universities even though the student may have completed all the credits specified by the university and/or the semesters as applicable in case of Indian universities: Keeping the requirements of minimum duration of degrees in consideration, the duration should, instead of being measured in terms of precise number of months/years, be measured in terms of completion of the number of Semesters/Trimesters and all such cases where the degrees have been awarded upon completion of as many semester/trimester as are prescribed in case of Indian universities be awarded equivalence;

(b) Degrees awarded where the University has accepted credits taken by students from other universities/degree-awarding institutions including those in India: As acceptance of credits and credit transfer is a normal practice in most foreign universities and that the same is also being encouraged in India, the AIU may accord equivalence to such foreign degrees where the duration have been shortened on account of credits accepted by the foreign universities so long as the degrees awarded by foreign universities meets all other parameters specified by the AIU;

(c) Degrees awarded where the University has granted exemption to the student from certain number of credits or certain number of semesters: Given the fact that foreign universities grant exemptions to their students on the basis of their academic records/ attainment/transfers from other higher educational institutions, the AIU has decided to grant equivalence to such foreign degrees where the duration have been shortened on account of exemption granted by the foreign universities so long as the degree meets all other parameters specified by the AIU.

Students having obtained their Qualifications/Degrees from Foreign Universities may apply for the Equivalence Certificate from AIU in the prescribed Form. Equivalence is however subject to other conditions as laid down by AIU

EduLegaL View:

Credit Transfer Recognition has been a big issue in India and the new Regulations are really a ray of new hope for Indian Students. This will allow the students to come to back to India. In absence of the recognition, they were forced in remain in foreign country and seek employment. “Brain Gain” and not “Brain Drain” is underlying manifestation of the new Regulations. These relaxations would enable thousands of students to return to India to pursue further studies here or get employment.

Earlier, AIU Equivalence required foreign courses to be done in full-time regular mode with durations same as specified by UGC, which meant traditional 3 years for Under-Graduate and 2 Years Post Graduate Courses.

However, some foreign universities conduct master’s programmes of 20 to 22 months, allowing the students to study during summer or winter vacations or take extra courses in a semester. Such courses were not recognised in India earlier. Now AIU has considered a departure and it will now be recognized in India.

About AIU:

AIU is the only body in India, which is recognized to grant Equivalence of Degrees awarded by the Foreign Universities. Acknowledging its role and work the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India (GOI) vide their letter No. F.15-17/94-TS IV dated 13th March 1995 issued a Notification that“those foreign qualifications which are recognized/equated by the AIU, are treated as recognized for the purpose of employment to post and services under the Central Government”.

Ravi Bhardwaj | mail@edulegal.in

Amidst ongoing Fellowship controversy, Govt. increases Fellowship of ST Students

Last 2-3 weeks has seen unprecedented scenes in student v/s regulator faceoff on account of discontinuation of Non-NET Fellowship. It seems wisdom prevailed on MHRD and it decided to stay the decision of discontinuation and also appoint Committee to look into the matter holistically.

But there is some news pouring in for our Scheduled Tribe Students. UGC has now announced that Ministry of Tribal Affairs has enhanced the fellowship amount under Scheme “National Fellowship for Higher Education of ST Students”.

In the initial two year Junior Research Fellowship Term, a ST Students will now be paid Rs. 25,000/- instead of Rs. 16,000/-. For the remaining terms, the student will be paid Rs. 28,000/- instead of
Rs. 18,000/- .

 

 

UGC major boost to Physical and Sports Education, restores 3 year Course

UGC while considering specification of new degrees in Physical and Sports Education in exercise of its powers u/s 22 of the UGC Act, 1956 has recently approved recommendations of a committee and has agreed to introduce Bachelor of Physical Education and Sports (BPES) and Maters of Physical Education and Sports [MPES] in the list of specification of degrees.

In the year, 1966, vide Notification dated 27.04.1966, UGC had introduced BPE [Bachelor of Physical Education] and MPE [Masters of Physical Education] is list of specification of degrees. UGC in the year 2004, recommended phasing out these degrees from the academics.

In the specification of degrees published in July 2014, UGC had restructured BPE [Bachelor of Physical Education] and MPE [Masters of Physical Education] and prescribed new degrees, viz., BPEd and MPEd, which was result of phasing out the BPE and MPE Degrees, which started in year 2004.

Earlier, the BPE course run by several Universities in the Country was a 3 years degree course, allowing 12th Pass Students to pursue this Course. However, by amendment in July 2014, the Bachelor in Physical Education [BPEd] was prescribed as 2 year Course with Bachelor Degree as qualifying degree. This eliminated students passing 12th and aspiring in Physical Education to pursue their pursuits.

In addition, to BPES, the UGC has also approved MPES [Masters of Physical Education and Sports] Program. Considering that is a Master’s Degree, it will be of two years duration and will run concurrently with MPEd Degree Course.

EduLegal View:

We all welcome this step of restoration of 3 year degree course, because it is majorly after 12th only that career decisions are made. In such sense, this is really a welcome step by UGC.

But UGC should be mindful of the fact that introduction of a new degree course should generally be done at the beginning of the academic year, so that Universities/ Institutions can start admission to these courses. A delayed introduction disallows to introduce the course in the same year because of curriculum constraints.

Der Aye Lekin Durust Aye !