The University Grants Commission, in pursuance of the National Policy on Education 1986 and its programme of action, had set up 57 Academic Staff Colleges (ASCs) in different Universities/ Institutions in the country. The Academic Staff Colleges so established are conducting specially designed Academic Staff orientation programmes for newly appointed lecturers and refresher courses for in service teachers.
The Orientation programmes is intended to inculcate in the young lecturers the quality of self- reliance through awareness of the social, intellectual and moral environment as well as to discover self-potential and confidence. The orientation programmes contributes to the teacher awareness of the problems of the Indian society and the role of education, higher education leaders and educators in the resolution of these problems to achieve desired goals in national development.
The Commission has identified 11 Universities/Institutions on the recommendation of Expert Committee as UGC refresher course centres to run Specialized refresher courses during the year 2008-2009 around the country on the basis of requests received from number of Universities/Institution of Higher Education and Research.
The Refresher course provides opportunities for serving teachers to exchange experiences with their peers and mutually learns from each other. It will be a forum to abreast of the latest advances in the subjects, technological spin off etc.
The Commission has been providing cent percent financial assistance to the host Universities/ Institutions to run the courses mainly towards cost of resource persons, participants, books/materials, working expenses and salaries of the UGC- allocated staff etc. as per the norms under the programme.
Eligibility conditions for the teachers to attend the course
Courses are convened for in service teachers who are eligible as per UGC-ASC rules and regulations. The newly appointed teachers may have to attend the orientation programme/course up to 6 years of continuous services and also even after 6 years of service if the orientation programme has to be attended by the lecturers under career advancement scheme. Then after a gap of one year, such teachers may opt for Refresher course. The eligibility for attending Refresher course for teachers who have not attended earlier Orientation programme has been reduced to "two years" from "five years". However, the gap in two successive Refresher courses should normally be "one year" and may be relaxed if it is essential for the teacher to fulfil eligibility condition for his career advancement.
Lecturers working in the Universities and Colleges, who are included in the list of Colleges under Section 2(f) of the UGC Act, even though they may not yet be fit under 12-B of the UGC Act, may be invited to participate in the Refresher courses. It has also been agreed that teachers of colleges which do not yet come within the purview of Section 2(f), but have been affiliated to a University for at least 5 years, be permitted to participate in the Refresher courses.
The temporary/contract teachers, who have been teaching for at least two academic sessions in an Institution which has been affiliated to a University for at least two years may be allowed to participate in the Orientation Programmes/Refresher Courses to enhance their skills.
Required number of courses under career advancement scheme:
As per UGC notification on "Revision of pay scales and minimum qualifications for appointment of teachers in universities & colleges and other measures for the maintenance of standards, 1998" for placement in senior scale, in addition to the other requirement in the guidelines, the lecturer should also participate in one orientation programmes and one refresher courses.( those with Ph.D Degree would be exempted from one refresher course).
The participation in Orientation Course and Refresher Course is mandatory requirement for career advancement from lecturer to lecturer (Senior Scale) and from Lecture (Senior Scale) to Lecturer (Selection Grade). However, UGC has decided that the teachers who are supernnuating within next three years be exempted from attending Refresher Courses.
All eligible teachers are essentially required to attend orientation programme and refresher courses as per the terms of reference under the programme/course. The UGC's preference lies towards the teachers in attending the course and not in considering or approving equivalence of courses as are requested by many teachers.
The Universities and Colleges will allow interested eligible teacher to attend the UGC - ASC courses based on their eligibility otherwise valid reasons will have to be intimated to the teachers concerned for non sending of teacher for the purpose as the courses so organized for their teachers will ultimately benefit the university and college.
Restricting of courses using Experts of eminence as resource persons.
In order to have national character in the programme and also to bring good quality and status in the courses, being run all over the country on cent percent UGC financial support, an attempt has been made by the UGC that the course content of the Orientation Programmes and Refresher Courses are prepared, restructured and also taught with the help of Experts of eminence in the subject disciplines to be used as Resource persons for ASCs and Referesher Course Centres (RCCs).
The content of the Refresher course will have essential percentage of the core material in the subject discipline along with required percentage of areas of emergence and priority, (both national and global), essential laboratory and practical component, computer application and I.T. Contents, if required with relevant advancement to the subject discipline.
The Orientation Programme provides opportunities for newly appointed teachers as well as for onservice teachers to make them familiar with the use of tools (software) and "Internet Literate" as Orientation Programme has I.T. based contents and about one week time will be devoted to I.T. based contents and training.
The curriculum for the Academic Staff Orientation Course may have the five components with 144 contact hours, i.e., 6 hours daily for 4 week programmes and 3 week Refrehser Courses may have a minimum of 108 hours as already communicated to the UGC-ASC/RCC. In addition, computer awareness and application of computers in teaching and research in different areas as relevant for the subject disciplines. All UGC-ASCs and UGC - RCCs have been requested to take steps to implement the programmes/courses accordingly.
Courses under UGC-ASC are conducted round the year and are non-vacational.
Submission of requests by interested eligible teachers to the nearest UGC-ASC/ UGC-RCC for attending the programme/course
Teachers who are interested and eligible may submit their request/application through proper channel of the employer for participation in the programme/course in their area/discipline directly to the nearest UGC-ASC/ UGC-RCC as per allocation made by the UGC and posted in UGC Website. Each participant has to deposit Rs. 500/- as Registration Charges (non-Refundable) to concern ASC/RCC alongwith his/her application /request to ensure his/her participation in a course/programme. No application/correspondence may be made to UGC in this regard by the candidate/participants teacher.
If, however, the subject discipline by chance is not covered in the areas of interest of the teachers in the State, the teacher may go ahead with the next nearest UGC-ASC or UGC - RCC where such discipline/area is allocated and submit the request/application accordingly. Such teachers may also allowed to participate in Orientation Prgramme having I.T. based Contents irrespective of the subject/discipline he/she is teaching.
The sponsoring University/College will treat teachers selected for the programme as on duty with full pay and allowances. The Commission has been providing cent percent financial assistance towards organizing such courses to the host ASC/RCC selected in the universities/Institutions by the UGC.
Financial Assistance to the participating teachers
The teacher participants may be paid 2nd class railway fare or Ist Class Rail fare for journey beyond 500 Kms. or over 12 hrs. Whichever is less on production of railway tickets or other document in support that the teacher has actually undertaken the journey by Ist class. The participants may be provided free boarding and lodging by the University. However, to cover the cost of their boarding/lodging the Commission will pay to the University Rs. 200/- per day per outstation participant for "A" class cities, Rs. 150/- per day for other places and Rs. 50/- per day (except holidays/Sundays) per local participant for hospitality services. In case only free lodging is provided, DA will be allowed @ 75% of the ordinary rate of daily allowance.
Course materials to the participants
In order that the participating teacher enjoy the teaching and also contribute, the selected participating teachers may be provided course content and required material in printed form before joining the course.
All the UGC-ASCs and UGC-RCCs will issue Certificate in the UGC designed format common to all the successful teacher-participants for the purpose in order to bring national character for the courses being run all over the country on cent percent UGC financial support and with desired modification of the course contents, the Certificate may be signed by the concerned University Vice Chancellor/Registrar, the Director, Coordinator of the UGC-ASC and the UGC-RCC as the case may be. A copy of the Certificate was already circulated to the ASCs/RCCs.
The UGC- ASC or UGC-RCC may even disallow issue of the certificate to the teachers on valid grounds.