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To the kind attention of the Chairman, UGC.

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Vasudev Dass

Joined: 22 Apr 2014
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 8:50 am    Post subject: To the kind attention of the Chairman, UGC.  Reply with quote

As a senior member associated with “Gandhi Shanti Prathisthan”,  “Sarvodaya Mandali”, “Khadi and Charaka Sangh”, and few other Gandhian and Swami Vivekananda Associations, I am writing to express my observations and to draw your kind attention on the UGC scheme “Epoch Making Social Thinkers of India.” The intention of this letter is to bring to your notice the ground realities rather than eulogising this very good scheme. I request you to kindly look into the following:
       I.           UGC grants are pending to the centres after their continuation in 2013-14: This reality was observed by us when we had approached the centres seeking their cooperation and collaboration for the Gandhian activities. The common answer we got was that they have no funds as they have not received their allocation from the UGC for 2013-14. I request the UGC to release the grants in time.

     II.            Obsession with academic seminars: For the last 10 years we have observed that some centres are obsessed with the big idea of academic seminars! I too had been as a resource person to such seminars under UGC banner with sumptuous meals... where the participants came with an intention of securing the certificates of National Seminar..!

   III.            Need for revising the guidelines: I request the UGC to see that the guidelines are revised from time to time and they need to be clear worded.

   IV.            Hiring of a Research Associate: From my acquaintance with many research fellows and research associates who usually approach us for their study I can say that many are underpaid / or are working for paltry sum. Hence I suggest the following things:

1) UGC must frame certain guidelines regarding basic qualifications of a Research Associate.

2) UGC must clearly mention the amount of the honorarium to be paid for Research Associate.

3) UGC must ensure that the aforesaid honorarium is being paid to the research associate.

4) UGC must ensure  a decent pay of honorarium / fellowship at par with that of their MRP counterparts. (See Major Research Project Guidelines).

In my perspective, the University Grants Commission needs to ensure the accountability of the centres and be accountable to the civil society by disbursing the outstanding dues (grants) to the centres with clear instructions about their utilisation.
I request you to kindly take appropriate action and issue suitable directions in the larger interest so as to serve the noble purpose of the scheme.

Sincere thanks and regards

(Vasudev Krishna Dass)

Background Information:
[“The UGC Scheme Of Epoch Making Social  Thinkers Of India”
India has produced great thinkers and social leaders who, by their revolutionary and path  breaking thoughts and actions, have left a lasting impact not only on India, but the world as a whole. They have developed indigenous ideas and have provided cultural and ethical  identity to India. There is a great need to acquaint the teachers and students with their  thinking and work and to involve them in studies, research and field work based  extension service programmes of constructive work.
The Indian University system owes to the nation to conduct studies, research and  extension programmes, which are pertinent and apply their ideas in the reconstruction of  society on moral, ethical and spiritual foundations necessary for a non-violent social order.
In line of  the interrelated framework of the ideas of these thinkers the UGC started the scheme of  the Epoch Making Social Thinkers of India all sanctioned and encouraged the various  centres in the universities / colleges during the X plan period. It is centres for Gandhian Studies, 16 centres for Nehru Studies, 15 centres for Buddhist Studies and 29 centres for Ambedkar Studies. Besides these established centres, there are 4 centres for Aurobindo Studies, 2 for Swami Vivekananda Studies, 2 for Dr. Zakir Hussain Studies, 3 for Guru Nanak Dev Studies, 1 for Indira Gandhi Studies and 1 for Dr. K.R. Narayanan Studies.Besides these centres, centres for comparative studies may also be established for the study of specific areas of a thinker such as Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya, Pandit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Raja Rammohan Roy, Dr.Radhakrishnan, Dr. Zakir Hussain, Swami Vivekananda, Rabindra Nath Tagore, Sri Aurobindo and Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel etc.  
UGC Assistance
The following UGC assistance is provided for each of these studies for research and extension programmes :
I. Non Recurring
(i) Equipment . (audio-visual aids, computer etc. (once at the time of the establishment of the centre.   –Rs.3,00,000

II. Recurring P.A.
i) Books & Journals, -Rs. 50,000/-
ii) Seminars/Workshops/Courses/ Lecturers series -Rs.1,00,000/-
iii) Honorarium to visiting faculty
(Rs. 1000/- for outstation and Rs 500/- for local faculty)  -Rs.2,50,000/-
iv) Hiring Services including one research associate -Rs.1,50,000/-
v) Programme Cost (including field action, Preparation of research proposals, TA/DA etc.including meeting of Advisory Committee) -Rs.1,50,000/-
vi) Contingency -Rs. 50,000/-.
Total -Rs.7,50,000/-

(The above details are based on XI Plan guidelines put on UGC website and it may be clearly observed that the UGC encourages payment of paltry sum to research associate)

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