Teachers’ body slams UGC proposal to mandate hiring of 20% foreign faculties in Universities

Following the proposal from University Grants Commission (UGC) to increase the number of foreign faculties in universities, Delhi University teachers have been creating an uproar, vastly criticizing the statutory body’s move. In its recent draft regulations, the UGC proposed for a mandatory hiring of foreign teachers in up to 20 per cent of the total number of faculty posts in Category I universities/ Higher Educational Institutes (HEI).

As reported by the Catchnews, the Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) strongly criticized UGC’s draft regulation and replied with a feedback mentioning that the proposal to hire more number of foreign teachers is ‘unacceptable’. The feedback by DUTA further mentioned, “The provision for hiring, without approval, Foreign Faculty in up to 20% of the total sanctioned faculty posts in Category I universities/ HEIs is an unacceptable assault on the younger generation of post-graduates who are already suffering from years of contractual and ad hoc employment and lack of job security due to insincere and inadequate initiative in the filling-up of substantive vacant posts.”

The teachers association also stated that the proposed provision will be affecting the standard of teaching-learning in the institutions. As reported by Catch news, DUTA, in its feedback added, “Instead of increasing the allocation of substantive teaching and research posts in universities/HEIs in accordance with the need to offer wider academic choices to students, the UGC will end up curtailing and discouraging local talent at the national and state levels even further, unless this provision is withdrawn.”

Further adding to the rage of the teachers, UGC in its draft regulation, mentioned that the foreign teachers will be hired on a contractual basis and that their payments will be negotiated and paid by the university itself. In strong words against the regulation DUTA president, Nandita Narain was quoted by Catchnews saying UGC is apparently reducing the funding of the universities by 20 percent. And while the extra funds required for the payment of the 20 percent of the foreign faculties will eventually be taken from the students by increased fee structure, the parents and student will have to take the extra burden.

Narain further pointed out that the UGC regulations are aimed towards privatization of higher education institutions and are trying to convert universities into money making organizations, thereby compromising the quality of education.

Raising voice against the UGC regulation, other teachers’ associations like Democratic Teachers’ Front (DTF) claimed that the government is not interested in paying attention to feedbacks and the draft regulation will be made final anytime soon. Rajib Ray of DTF stated that while there are many accomplished scholars in India, the need for foreign faculties to teach subjects like Indian history, political science, geography or sociology is pointless.

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