India’s Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report for the fiscal year ended March 2020 identified major failures in higher education in Tamil Nadu. Among the failures is the low or no research output of many university departments. The audit found that the University of Madras embezzled funds intended for research and development. These funds were then used to pay salaries and other unforeseen expenses.
According to the research, guest speakers were paid far less than the UGC recommended compensation of 50,000 rupees. Guest speakers were appointed to fill vacancies that had not been filled. According to the report, which was tabled in the State Assembly on Monday, 4,084 guest lecturers were employed in government colleges with a monthly salary of Rs 15,000 as of March 2020. According to the audit, Tamil Nadu Teachers Recruitment Board (TRB) delay in recruiting teachers has resulted in an increase in vacancies.
CAG report shows mismanagement of funds and defaults in major TN units
According to the research, guest speakers were hired on a contract basis to meet demand and were not hired through a transparent merit-based recruitment process. In public colleges, out of a total sanctioned staff of 10,079 teachers, 4,889 permanent teachers were on the payroll, leaving 5,190 positions, about 51%, unfilled. There were 22% of college vacancies assisted. There are 2,380 vacant positions out of a total of 10,610 employees. The huge proportion of openings were mostly filled by full-time guest speakers.
During the 2014-19 academic year, 17 new programs were launched at ten government colleges. 1,318 students were admitted without teachers to run the programs. The TRB planned to hire 1,883 teachers for various fields in 2016, but the government banned recruitment between April 2017 and June 2018, causing the recruitment process to be abandoned. According to the report, the TRB hired for 2,331 positions in October 2019 and the process was still ongoing as of February 2021. Sanctioned admission of students for PG programs at the University of Madras could not be completed. increased due to a lack of teachers and infrastructure. In 2014-2019, the capacity of 63 programs was reduced by 68% due to insufficient demand. There were no admissions to 27 accredited master’s programs during this period.
Comptroller and Auditor General report on Madras University findings
Due to mismanagement and insufficient financial support from the government of Tamil Nadu, the University of Madras, the oldest in the state, is still in financial difficulty. As a result, funds intended for research and development were diverted for salaries and other unplanned expenses, according to the report. In terms of student enrollment, pass rates, access and affordability, the state has fared well. However, the audit found problems with the student-faculty ratio at institutions, copy evaluation, insufficient research results, regional disparities in access, and ineffective governance systems. Due to the non-constitution of its main body, the Council, the Tamil Nadu State Council for Higher Education has not been able to fulfill its mandate. In addition, the National Council for Academic Audit and Accreditation has been inactive since its creation in 2010.
Other educational establishments under UGC in Madras; lack of research seen
During the 2014-19 academic year, approximately 1.48 lakh students from Bharatidasan University, Tiruchirappalli, Mother Teresa Women’s University, Kodaikanal, and Madras University, Chennai requested reassessment. 50% of them have had their grades revised. According to the report, the large number of assessment requests and the changes in scores after assessment cast doubt on the effectiveness of the answer sheet assessment method. Only a few university departments were engaged in research, while the vast majority produced little or no research. The failure of the tax authorities resulted in the unauthorized occupation of government land worth Rs 14.16 crore in Madurai, while the failure of the Department of Agriculture to develop a comprehensive directive and enforce the Existing guidelines resulted in the misuse of Rs 3.01 crore as a subsidy, as well as failure to meet the intended goals of mechanizing agriculture, according to the report.
University of Madras
The University of Madras, which was founded in 1857 and has six campuses throughout the city, is a collegiate research university. Chepauk, Marina, Guindy, Taramani, Maduravoyal and Chetpet are the campuses. National centers for advanced research in nanotechnology, photonics and neurotoxicity are housed in the institution. It also offers three Centers for Advanced Studies (CAS) for biophysics, botany and mathematics. The chancellor of the university is the governor of Tamil Nadu. The vice-chancellor is the chief executive of the university. The registrar of the university, who is also the secretary of the union, is the keeper of all records and the chief administrator of the university.