It is common among higher educational institutes - Central universities, IITs, NITs, IIMs and others — to remain headless for a long time after the incumbent demits office. IIT-Kharagpur, for instance, remained without a director for nearly a decade, and the NCERT, too, had the same fate till a few years ago.
To deal with this chronic problem, the HRD ministry has decided 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. There are more than 100 autonomous educational institutions under the HRD ministry. Earlier, the provision of having a collegium was part of the National Commission for Higher Education & Research Bill. But since it looks improbable that any of the HRD bill would get Parliament’s nod, the ministry had decided to take the executive route.
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.
On Tuesday, a selection committee, under the HRD minister, met to finalize the “first fellows of the collegium of scholars.” Other members of the selection committee are UGC chairperson Ved Prakash, AICTE chairperson S S Mantha, education secretary Ashok Thakur, IIM-Bangalore director Pankaj Chandra, scientist Goverdhan Mehta and M M Sharma, chairman, of standing committee of IIT Council.
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.
Source: Education News