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UGC chairman urges state govts to conduct SET for teaching aspirants

Teacher education and training


Hindustan Times

Chairman of the University Grants Commission (UGC) Prof Ved Prakash said state governments should conduct a State Eligibility Test (SET) in their respective states to determine eligibility of candidates aspiring for lectureship in colleges and universities. “Usually, it is the UGC that conducts National Eligibility Test (NET) that determines eligibility of candidates applying for the post of lecturers (assistant professor) in colleges and universities in the country,”said Prof Prakash. The SET would offer an additional platform to the candidates seeking career as lecturer in colleges and universities in their state, he added. Stating that the UGC has been making every effort to promote education in the country, Prof Prakash said Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal was keen to open UGG constituent colleges in the state, but other state governments were yet to take interest in the UGC scheme even though the two-third colleges established under the scheme would be financed by the UGC. Speaking on the growing demands of autonomous status by colleges, the UGC chairman said many colleges were applying for the grant of autonomous status, but the UGC accorded the status to only those colleges which fulfilled the set conditions. “There is no need for special rules and regulations for the autonomous colleges; however, these colleges are abide by the regulations and calendar of the university with which they are affiliated,”said Prof Prakash, adding that maximum colleges had been coming up in states like Karnatka, Tamil Nadhu, Andhra Pardesh and Kerala. He further said: “During the Eleventh Five Year Plan, the infrastructure for education has almost been doubled, including the number of central universities.” However, with the expansion in education facilities, there was a simultaneous need to improve the quality of education, he said, as it was the higher standards of education that would enable the pass outs to get better employment opportunities. He urged the institutions to employ good teachers to raise the standard of education. In order to compete at the international level there was a need to make education innovative, where the students’ latent talent could be raised. Stressing on the adoption of five ‘E’s – Expansion, Equity, Quality Education, Excellence and Engagement, Prof Prakash urged the institutions to improve their level of education for the economic prosperity of the nation.  Speaking overt the general proclivity among youths for science and technology-related disciplines, he said humanities and languages were equally important in life. Stating that India had the largest system of higher education in the world, he said educational institutes could not live in isolation, and they must connect themselves with the community. Colleges should inculcate in the students values for moral teachings, honesty, character, aspiration to excel and better quality of life. He stressed on the need of more liberal government funding to education: “The lecturers are supposed to conduct research and undergo training. They need to keep updating themselves from time to time.”

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