The minister in his first interaction with the heads of the centrally funded universities were also asked to initiate frameworks for implementation of the Academic Bank of Credit and other schemes like the multiple exit and entry degree programmes and virtual universities, among others on Friday.
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Setting a target for filling up the vacant teaching posts in the central universities, Pradhan said: “6,229 posts are vacant, out of that 1,012 are in SC category, 592 from ST category, 1,767 posts from OBC category 805 from EWS category and 355 from divyang category. The President will address on September 5 and Prime Minister on September 7 on the occasion of Teachers Day. Let us work on a mission mode to fill up the posts. There could be a few anomalies, but by September 10 all the universities should have advertised.”
The minister said that there will be student rebellion and in a democracy, there has to be flexibility to accommodate. However, he said that the onus of ensuring that teaching and learning is not compromised lies with the VCs.
He also urged the universities to focus on bringing back the academic routine, which had been disrupted by the pandemic in the last two years, on schedule.
On reforms like four-year degree courses, Pradhan said that the universities have the autonomy to decide on the roll out strategy and as these reforms take time, universities should start consultations with teachers and students while preparing the framework for implementation from 2022.
Speaking about the creation of a collective framework by various agencies to fulfil the NEP’s vision of enhancing skill and vocational education, Pradhan said that the Japanese language should be an additional skill. “Suppose a postgraduate in English literature has also studied the Japanese language, that person’s employability gets enhanced multi-fold in India itself. The amount of investment that is coming to India in the near future in the field of infrastructure and automobiles will open up opportunities for our students with knowledge of Japanese. I hope the central universities will be pioneers in implementing the Academic Bank of Credit and schemes like multiple entry and exit,” said the minister.
Apart from representatives from 46 central universities, minister of state for education Subhash Sarkar, secretary, higher education, Amit Khare, chairman of UGC, professor D P Singh and senior officials of the ministry and UGC attended the meeting.