Is the academic session of Punjab University less than the norms prescribed by UGC?
The University Grants Commission (UGC) had issued “Minimum Standards of Instructions for the Grant of First Degree through Formal Education, 2003" guidelines which mandated every University and its affiliated colleges to observe a minimum of 180 ‘teaching days’ in an academic year. The 'teaching day' implies the day on which lectures, tutorials, seminars and practicals are held.
However, the reply to an application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has revealed that the Punjab University and its affiliated colleges observe only 140 teaching days. The University includes the days spent in conducting September and December tests as well as the days spent for conducting sports events while counting the minimum teaching days.
The reply to the application also reveals that Chandigarh’s union territory administration has opposed the method adopted by the University for counting teaching days. The Education Officer of UGC has informed that the actual teaching days are the days on which classes such as lectures, tutorials, seminars and practicals are held.
Director, higher education, Chandigarh Administration has mentioned this in a letter to the PU vice-chancellor. The director’s letter also pointed out that loss of 40 teaching days amounts to loss of 20 per cent of total budget allocation for the purpose. Responding to the letter, the vice-chancellor set up a committee under the chairmanship of the Dean of University.