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Collegium of Scholars To Be Formed To Choose Heads of Universities

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Collegium of Scholars to appoint heads of universitiesTo deal with the chronic problem of higher education institutes – Central universities, IITs, NITs, IIMs and likes – which remain headless for long time due to non-availability of suitable person, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD Ministry) has proposed to establish a collegium of scholars that would prepare a directory of academics for leadership positions like vice-chancellors or heads of institutions of central educational institutions. The decision is inspired from a recent incident at IIT Kharagpur which remained without a director for nearly a decade, and the NCERT, too, had the same fate till a few years ago.

Earlier, the provision of having a collegium was part of the National Commission for Higher Education & Research Bill. However the ministry has now decided to take the executive route to implement the decision as passing of bill in the parliament may delay the process further. There are more than 100 autonomous educational institutions under the HRD ministry, which would be benefited by the decision, if implemented.

Once the collegium prepares the directory, the UGC as custodian of the directory would recommend a panel of three names from the list, whenever the HRD ministry or any of the central government institutions ask it to do so.

Sources said it would consist of persons of “true eminence and unimpeachable integrity and will have 20 fellows.” To be eligible to be a fellow, an individual should have made substantial contribution to the advancement of knowledge demonstrated through publications, contributed significantly to higher education policy or should have been a national research professor or a recipient of Nobel Prize or a recipient of Padma Bhushan and above awardees in the field of higher education or performing or liberal arts.

Fellows other than the national research professors will be selected from among persons of integrity and eminence in higher education and research proposed by any fellow that is not adequately represented in the collegium of scholars.

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