UGC journal list under fire
|Basant Kumar Mohanty|
|New Delhi, Jan. 19: The University Grants Commission has prescribed journals where junior teachers are expected to publish papers but the 38,000-plus list has run into criticism from sections of academics who say it is anti-vernacular.
Several academics said the list had set a benchmark that was “too high” and could affect the careers of many junior lecturers.
The list of 38,653 journals approved by the higher education regulator includes mostly international journals but hardly has any in an Indian vernacular language.
Professor Nandita Narain, president of the Federation of Central University Teachers’ Association, said the teachers’ body would protest the exclusion of reputable journals written in regional languages and several Indian journals published in English.
“This list has been prepared unilaterally by a committee in complete disregard of the recommendations made by universities. It will stop promotion of thousands of junior teachers. No vernacular journal has found place. We will take it up with the government and the UGC,” Narain said.
Under the UGC’s 2016 regulations on Minimum Qualifications for Appointment of Teachers and Other Academic Staff, junior teachers need to publish papers in peer-reviewed journals for promotions. The norms have a bearing on the careers of nearly five lakh college and university teachers across the country.
The UGC had wanted to prepare such a list to ensure high standards among teachers and had asked universities to recommend journals that should be included.
It set up a committee headed by one of its members, V.S. Chauhan, to prepare a comprehensive list from the journals suggested by the universities. It later accepted the list of 38,653 journals on various subjects and circulated it among universities.
UGC secretary Jaspal Singh Sandhu wrote to the universities last week, saying the list might be reviewed from time to time.
Professor Aswini Mohapatra, who teaches in the School of International Studies, JNU, said the UGC provision for publication in peer-reviewed journals followed a realisation “that a lot sub-standard journals had come up in which people were writing to get points for research publication”.
But the list has ignored all vernacular journals, Mohapatra added. “The whole purpose is defeated because the benchmark is too high.”
Biju Dharmapalan, who teaches biosciences in Mar Athanasios College for Advanced Studies in Tiruvalla, Kerala, said peer-reviewed journals in Malayalam, like Vijanakairali, published by the Kerala Bhasha Institute, and Sastra Keralam,published by the Sastra Sahitya Parishad, had been excluded.
Another academic, Professor Suhas Palsikar, said all peer-reviewed journals, irrespective of the language they are published in, should be included in the list.
Chauhan, who headed the UGC panel that finalised the 38,000-plus list, said they went by established names nationally and internationally. “The list can be revised,” he said, conceding that “some well-known journals might have been ignored”.
Source : The Telegraph Friday , January 20 , 2017