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Call to check originality of publications by VC candidates

An apprehension prevails in academic circles in the region over Vice-Chancellor aspirants for Bharathidasan University allegedly attempting to incorporate hastily-written articles and books in their resume, in the wake of the Higher Education department coming out with Tamil Nadu Universities Laws (Amendment) Ordinance 2017, in July.

As per the notification, a VC candidate must have published not less than five research papers in University Grants Commission-listed journals after acquiring Ph.D or authored not less than two books (non-edited books) if adequate number of such UGC-listed journals are not available; must have presented not less than two papers in international- level academic or research events; and possess experience of having conducted not less than one such academic or research event.

“The Higher Education department ought to have emphasised on fulfilment of the norms pertaining to publications at the time of applying for the post. Also, the norms are not specific about acceptance of co-authored articles and books,” a senior professor of Bharathidasan University said.

A committee must be established by the Higher Education department to determine fulfilment of the norms pertaining to publications by the VC aspirants, another professor said, referring to the UGC's primary emphasis that “Persons of highest level of competence, integrity and institutional commitment are to be appointed as Vice-Chancellors.”

The Teachers’ Association of Bharathidasan University, in a letter to the Chancellor on May 30, emphasised that utmost importance must be accorded for the V-C aspirant’s academic credentials in research and teaching and extension activities.

The State government had, last year, informed the Madras High Court that only three out of the 22 State universities had adopted the UGC guidelines in respect of appointment of Vice-Chancellors.

The government had admitted that it was yet to adopt the UGC Regulations of 2010 which comprehensively deal with qualifications for appointment of teachers and Vice-Chancellors in universities.

The teaching community in arts and science colleges are, more or less, happy with the other regulations for choosing VC candidates in the latest amendment that calls for a Ph.D. Degree in any discipline; not less than 20 years of experience in teaching and research in universities or postgraduate colleges or publicly funded research institutions or in all taken together; or not less than 10 years of experience as Professor in a university system; not less than six years of administrative experience in universities or postgraduate colleges or publicly-funded research institutions in positions such as Dean, Head of the Department or any other such administrative positions of equal or higher degree of responsibility

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