Thursday, April 21, 2011

Menon committee seeks more autonomy for Central varsities

Central universities could soon allow a student to pursue two independent degree programmes simultaneously, if a key recommendation made by a committee suggesting a roadmap for increased autonomy at Central educational institutes (CEIs) is accepted by the government. Headed by Prof. N. R. Madhava Menon, an eminent legal educationist, the committee has recommended a series of measures towards increasing academic, financial and administrative autonomy at the Central universities and Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs).

The report, accessed by The Indian Express, calls for doing away with the office of the Visitor in Central universities and vesting these powers in the office of the Chancellor, freedom to recruit distinguished faculty from anywhere in the world, to take up consultancy assignments and at the same time open the institute to independent reviews. Advocating a thorough revisiting of the process of appointment of a V-C, a five-year tenure for the V-C and reappointment of a V-C if the Executive Council so recommends, this committee has also suggested more accountability at CEIs.
The recommendations say all faculty members must be subjected to a review once every five years by a committee appointed by the Executive Council and fast tracked promotions or advance increments may be given to performers while further increments may be withheld in case of non-performers. Each Central varsity will also have to undergo a comprehensive review by an External Peer Review Board every 10 years and a department-wise review by subject experts every five years.

Recommending that established colleges with a good track record be elevated to university status, the committee has called for phasing out the affiliation system, as it feels that this has led to a decline in academic standards. For IIMs, the committee has recommended that they be allowed to award degrees like Central varsities and that they undertake a peer-based review of each department every five years.

Source: The Indian Express, April 21, 2011

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