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In search of the ideal teacher

UGC's new Academic Performance Indicators (API) to help choose better teaching faculty

At a time when the job market is becoming more and more competitive and the employers looking for competitive, dynamic and meritorious candidates for various positions, few job aspirants are aware about how their profiles are assessed for selection purposes. This is true of the majority of candidates applying for various positions in universities and colleges.

The University Grants Commission (UGC), which has the onerous task of maintaining quality, standards of teaching, examination and research in universities in the country, has revised the regulations on minimum qualifications for direct appointment of teachers and other academic staff in universities and colleges and measures for the maintenance of standards in higher education.

Subsequently, all the universities are required to frame statutes and apply them to all direct recruitment posts carrying UGC scales.

The one-year-old Rani Chennamma University (RCU), Belgaum, has become the first university in Karnataka to frame the statutes governing appointment of professors, associate professors, assistant professors, physical education directors and librarians and conduct of interview to teaching, academic staff and allied posts under Section 40 (1) of the Karnataka State Universities Act, 2000 and set benchmarks for direct recruitments and qualifications.

Governor H.R. Bhardwaj, who is also the Chancellor, has already given his assent to the statute. RCU has started recruitments as per these new statutes.


The new API (Academic Performance Indicators) scoring system prescribed in the UGC regulations, according to RCU Vice-Chancellor B.R. Ananthan, not only helps the universities in making proper assessment of candidates but also facilitates self-assessment to a considerable extent by the candidates themselves to know where they stand.

The API enables selection of better candidates and assess their knowledge, teaching skill and domain knowledge, ability to communicate clearly and effectively, ability to make a PowerPoint presentation, aptitude for teaching, research potential, analytical ability, and innovative thinking.

It also assesses the candidate for positive and critical analysis competence, contribution to higher education, national development, instantaneous planning and other essential features.

A separate pro forma has been prepared to evaluate the merit of the candidate and marks allotted to each and every parameter prescribed for various positions, wherein a candidate is required to provide evidence of his or her claim on performances, qualifications, contributions, etc.


As per the UGC regulations, the university shall advertise the vacancies in two national dailies, indicating the minimum/mandatory qualification, reservations, specialisation, if any, and number of vacancies. Thereafter, the applications received are sent to a screening committee set up by the university, which will assess and decide API scores before a candidate is called for an interview.

The merit list is prepared on the basis of various parameters/points viz. qualification, NET and SLET examination, successful completion of post-doctoral studies/research for assessing academic record and the API score. For instance, the minimum API score required for the post of professor is 400 and for the post of associate professor, 300.

However, the seven-member selection committee headed by the vice-chancellor still retains 12.5 per cent points where each member could allot a maximum of 1.785 points to a candidate at the time of interview. Of the seven members in this panel, the vice-chancellor has powers to nominate three experts in the subject concerned.

The other members include dean of the faculty, chairperson of the department and an academician nominated by the Chancellor. Besides, an academician representing SC/ST/OBC/

minority/women/differently-abled categories will be nominated by the vice-chancellor, “if any of the candidates representing these categories is an applicant and if any of the above members of the selection committee do not belong to that category.” At least four members, including two outside subject experts, shall constitute the quorum.

Prof. Ananthan says a large number of candidates who have already applied or in the process of applying are unaware of the API scoring system and the points allotted for various parameters and hence their bio-data provided with the application is vague. The candidates can check where they stood in the merit list by filling the API pro forma and totalling points for other parameters before coming to the interview. “We need to create awareness on API among the candidates, who must go through it and fill their application in the proper fashion.”

On the scope of manipulations of points by the screening committee and selection panel, particularly when the competition is close, the vice-chancellor says the new regulation has minimised the scope for all such aspects to a considerable extent. “We are trying our best to make the recruitment process fair and transparent and pick the best candidates.”


Source: The Hindu

Wednesday , 21   December , 2011