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Consumer complaints and reviews about UGCFRP

Sep 12, 2012


I came to know about the recent interview process of my friend for UGC-FRP. Sadly, this programme also showed that this is yet another programme and there is going to be no improvement in the Indian science.

The very fundamental shocking thing is that there is no technical presentation as a part of the interview. For a national level faculty selection (that too for a research oriented scheme), it is surprising that the interview is purely based on personal interview that lasts for nearly 15 mins. The questions asked in the interview also were so vexatious. In the interview, the so called apex level committee asks a candidate to describe about one’s own best work for a few minutes. After 2 or 3 mins, they start to ask the candidates about their future work plan. If at all, any relevance is shown with respect to the candidate’s past research area, then immediately the question arises that what new science you are bringing in. If a person says something new, then the question arises that you don’t have experience in this field and how can you succeed. This is an extremely dangerous approach, because research does not work that way. First of all, based on 2-3 mins of briefing about one’s research area (that too not by means of a presentation), how the committee can really evaluate about the research quality of a person? Secondly, without properly seeing through the future work proposal, how the committee can easily judge that one too?

Then comes a round, where the candidate was questioned a lot from the text books. Mere principles are not sufficient. The candidates should answer exactly what the committee member has in his/her mind. It is possible for anyone to ask a specific text book question, which one is familiar with. Its not necessary that the candidate should exactly know that. Many of the research-based candidates, who have lost text book touch for years face difficulty in this. Does that mean they are not qualified? When the committee members have started teaching, did they know everything at that time? Or, even now, apart from their specialized area, can they answer for any text book question from other area? In my understanding, the candidates who have been shortlisted for the interview should have an established track record. Otherwise, UGC would not have certainly shortlisted them for the interview from 1000s of candidates. But then, what the apex committee thinks of it? Do they think that the candidates have been shortlisted based on any wrong ideology? Should the candidates take all the efforts to go there and attend the interview just to get humiliated? Even if the committee feels a candidate would not fit for this position, they should still treat the candidate with dignity. The current methodology of interview is rather downgrading people. Treating with dignity implies that the candidate should be given a fair platform such as a technical presentation to showcase one’s own background and research accomplishments. If this is a programme to improve the research standard in Universities, then the selection criteria should be made specifically for that.

My concern is not to pin point/criticize on any individual. The thing which bothers me the most is that, even at the higher education level, the standard is too low. Initially I thought that this is a wonderful scheme to boost the research standards in Indian Universities. But the current methodology adapted for the interview shows that this is going to be yet another programme on paper and nothing good is going to happen.

May GOD save India!

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