Monday, 30th October 2017

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Scan on Visva-Bharati faculty to boost NAAC grade

Visva-Bharati sets up panel to assess teachers’ performance

By Snehamoy Chakraborty in Santiniketan
  • Published 16.07.19, 4:29 AM
  • Updated 16.07.19, 4:29 AM
  • 2 mins read
Central Office, Visva Bharati in Santiniketan, West Bengal. Telegraph file picture

Visva-Bharati has set up an “academic observatory committee” to scan the performances and activities of teachers in a bid to increase its grade by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC).

Visva-Bharati had received a B-rating in its first NAAC assessment in 2015, which raised questions about the university’s “falling academic standards”.

After the university got the B-rating, several varsity officials and alumni questioned the academic standards maintained by Visva-Bharati.

The four-member committee headed by Samit Ray, senior professor of botany department, will also look into the performance of teachers of Patha Bhavana and Siksha Satra, the two varsity-run schools.

The NAAC is an organisation funded by the University Grants Commission to evaluate, assess and accredit higher education institutions in the country.

“We will face the NAAC again in 2020 and we want to score better then. So, the vice-chancellor has set up the committee to assess the academic standards of the university. The committee will work and submit a report to the VC,” said Anirban Sircar, the public relations officer of Visva-Bharati.

Academic standards, including those of teachers and students, are a major point in the NAAC assessment.

Sources said a few teachers had complained before the varsity officials, including the VC, that a section of faculty members had not been taking classes properly and they should be monitored.

“It has become a practice for a group of teachers to take classes irregularly. There are complaints about not completing syllabi in different departments. The committee will pay surprise visits to the departments and find out whether the academic process is run properly,” a senior varsity official said.

“Apart from scanning the performance of teachers, we will also conduct a survey on infrastructure in classrooms and laboratories. The suggestions and the demands of the teachers will also be included in the report,” a committee member said.

The panel has been asked to start its work soon and submit a preliminary report to the VC in two months.

An official said many teachers were often found skipping classes without permission on the day after weekly holidays. Visva-Bharati is closed on Wednesday and Sunday.

A section of teachers is unhappy with the launch of the committee.

“It is not a military training school. It is a university where teachers are well-connected with students and they have to take extra classes sometimes. The scan on teachers makes us believe that the university administration has no trust on us,” a senior professor told The Telegraph.

“It is better to call a meeting and ask the teachers about the academic standards the university administration is expecting from us,” he added.