Thiruvananthapuram: The state Higher Education Council has submitted a report stating that transferring the power to approve teachers' appointments in aided colleges from resspective universities to the directorate of higher education is against University Grants Commission (UGC) norms.
Steps had been initiated for the said transfer and the Higher Education Principal Secretary wrote a letter to the Higher Education Council to urgently give its response about the move. It is as part of this response that the Vice Chairman of the Council Dr Rajan Gurukkal gave the comment that it will not stand legally and would be an interference in the autonomy of universities.
Madhyamam had reported last week about the move to strip the university of its right to give approvals. The Council report explains that the UGC regulation of 2010 and 2018 had made it clear that matters regarding appointment of college teachers are to be conducted by universities.
Appointments of aided college teachers are made under the direct payment agreement signed between private colleges in 1972 and there cannot be unilateral withdrawal from the agreement.
The Ananthakrishnan Committee, appointed in 2011 by the Higher Education Council had in its report laid down that UGC regulations should be complied with in appointments of college teachers. The government's secretaries of higher education, finance and IT departements are also members of the syndicates of universisites. Approval for appointments is granted by the syndicate including these members and on this basis, the Council report also explains, if there are any issues about the appointment, these members make interventions.
However, Dr J Prasad Committee appointed by the government in 2017, in its report highlighted the issues in appointments in aided colleges and recommended that the power to grant approval for appointments should be transferred to higher education directorate.
The recent move to take away this authority from the university was initiated when the government decided to reduce fresh appointments due to financial stringency, citing this item of an earlier report.