ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Indian Higher Education

The observations of Ramakrishna Ramaswamy (“Indian Higher Education in the Digital Age”, EPW, 21 June 2014) on higher education are appreciable. It is true that this sector has failed to attract the finest talent of the country because of a number of bureaucratic and political impediments. In this context, a few cases of Odisha may be cited to substantiate the argument. In the recent past, the Comptroller and Auditor General’s Report of 2014 has pointed out that ineligible teachers of the aided +2 colleges have been granted the University Grants Commission (UGC) scale and given promotions in an illegal manner. This has compelled the government to list out 424 cases of such violation.

On the one hand, by imposing a moratorium dateline of 1 April 1989, the state is deliberately denying the benefit of UGC scale to eligible teachers of aided degree colleges, who, nonetheless are forced to take classes of degree students on a lower salary and have not seen promotion for the last 25 years. Teachers with better academic credentials like MPhil, PhD and research activities are continuously denied their legitimate scale and promotional avenues. On the other hand, teachers under the UGC scale are often promoted to a higher scale without requisite academic achievements, dishonouring the UGC’s prescribed API (academic performance indicator) score. The state has utterly failed in separating +2 and +3 stream (undergraduate) in such colleges and strangely enough the teachers of the +3 colleges are downgraded instead of up-gradation, by means of clubbing the +2 colleges into the +3 colleges.

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