Internal Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC) and UGC’s satisfactory reply

I am posting this because it might help others of similar profession in similar situation…

Forming IQAC is mandatory for Colleges as per UGC Guidelines; and IQAC is ideally a body of participative governance as mentioned in UGC Guidelines …

As per “XII Plan Guidelines For Establishment and Monitoring of the Internal Quality Assurance Cells (IQACs) in Colleges (2012 – 2017)” of UGC -
“4. The IQAC Structure: The IQAC shall be constituted under the chairmanship of Principal. He / She may be assisted by a Coordinator who shall be a senior faculty member…” etc.
“5. Composition of the IQAC: The IQAC shall have the following composition: a) Principal – Chairperson; b) Five senior teachers and one senior administrative official- Member; c) Two external experts on Quality Management/ Industry/Local Community- Member; d) Director / Coordinator – Member Secretary
The members at b) and c) of the above shall be nominated by the Principal of the College in consultation with the academic body of the College (Academic Committee of a College). The membership of such nominated members shall be for a period of two years...” etc

Now, Colleges should ideally adhere to these UGC Guidelines, but unfortunately, particularly in colleges that have strong bias to form power centers, the probability remains that such Public Authority would try to transform the IQAC into such a power centre because Career Advancement of Teachers is dealt by IQAC as one of its functions.

The “nomination” and “Seniority” becomes the factor, here …

Now, as you can already guess, I had to be RTI Applicant to UGC regarding IQAC …

In reply to my RTI Application, the PIO, University Grant Commission (ERO) vide No. F. RTI-W.B/2015-16(ERO) Dt. 20/09/16 clearly stated “… it is desired that the Guidelines must be followed by the every institutions, which comes under the jurisdiction of the UGC

The PIO also forwarded me a copy of the UGC Guidelines …

Then, following my First Appeal, the First Appellate Authority, UGC (ERO) has again stated clearly vide No. F. RTI-W.B./2015-16 (ERO) Dated 17/10/16: “…One has to strictly follow/adhere to the IQAC rule on which nothing can be added or deleted by any other authority…”

So, anyone in similar profession may use these replies if there is deviation from the structure of IQAC as envisaged in UGC Guidelines.

Here are my original queries in the RTI Application… and though I did not get exactly query-wise reply because both PIO and FAA say that they would not interpret the UGC Guidelines to reply me query-wise (and as an ex-PIO and ex-FAA, I agree with that), nevertheless, I am satisfied with the statements they made (- because I had forwarded the Resolution of Governing Body, based on which I raised the queries) -

“…Now, my queries u/s 6(1) of RTI Act 2005, with request to reply query-wise -
2.1 Whether Contractual Whole-Time Teachers (CWTT) & Part-Time Teachers (PTT) of Non-Substantive Post may have membership of Academic Committee to advise Principal on nomination of IQAC members
2.2 Whether said CWTT & PTT may have any say (as member of Academic Committee) in IQAC formation (by recommending nomination) that deals with Career Advancement Scheme of Whole-Time Teachers (WTT) as one of its functions
2.3 Whether an Whole-Time Teacher [WTT] who is not “senior faculty member” may be appointed as Coordinator, IQAC if “senior faculty members” who are senior to that WTT have not opted out of consideration for Coordinator, IQAC by consent
2.4 Whether WTTs who are not “senior teachers” may be nominated by Principal & said Academic Committee as members of IQAC if “senior teachers” who are senior to those nominated WTTs have not opted out of the membership of IQAC by consent or by nomination as per Seniority by an Academic Committee as per UGC Guidelines.
2.5 Since “membership of nominated members (of IQAC) shall be for a period of two years”, whether Academic Committee (consisting of CWTT & PTT–as in this case) can advice dissolution of an existing IQAC (which is approved/existing by Governing Body Resolution) to “re-form” a new IQAC even though members of existing IQAC have not resigned.
2.6 The Public Authority of [“so and so”] has decided on a Rotational System of membership of IQAC & appointment to Coordinator, IQAC on a non-repetition basis that creates the scenario of Junior Teachers acting as Coordinator, IQAC or as Members of IQAC – who do not qualify either as “senior faculty members” or “senior teachers”. Is it permissible as per UGC Guidelines on Records?
2.7 The Principal, of [“so and so”] has nominated (as per above rotational policy) two WTTs [“so and so”] in IQAC who are still at Stage-1, though there are Senior Teachers to them who have not been nominated by said Academic Committee. Is it permissible as per UGC Guidelines on Records?
2.8 Kindly inform from records quoting file notings, minutes of policy-making bodies of UGC etc., UGC’s definition of “senior faculty member” and “senior teacher.”

No File Notings etc has been provided to me, however, as I said I am satisfied with the reply