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Mainstream, VOL LV No 11 New Delhi March 4, 2017

Systematically Introduce API (Academic Performance Indicators) Score in Higher Education

Sunday 5 March 2017

by Santhoshkumar, R. and Neethu, S. Kumar

A number discussions and suggestions were made from various parts of our country in relation to modifying, implementing and introducing API (Academic Performance Indicators) Score in Higher Education. Actually it will help to improve the quality of the higher education system in our country. However, some people have confusion in the proposed system. Because the proposed present API score-system is not properly followed in all universities in our country. Most of the doubt is confined to the inclusion of different patterns of mark-distribution in the score-sheet and yearwise assessment.

The present system of score-sheet contains different main heads with different marks for various activities in an academic year. It contains three main categories with a number of sub- categories. Category one contains Teaching, Learning and Evaluation-related activities. Category two contains Co-curricular, Extension and Professional Development-related activities. And Category three is mainly focused on Research and Academic contributions. The above three categories are comparatively good and satisfactory, but the distribution of Marks is not satisfactory with most of the people. Because the people may achieve minimum marks in the first category and third category by their own effort. But achieving minimum mark in the second category is very difficult to most of the teachers; that is because it mainly depends on the different extracurricular activities in the colleges. To quote one, the number of available positions of convener or Co-ordinator in a college is limited and not sufficient to distribute to all teachers systematically. In this situation several unauthorised practices, like politics, personal interest etc., may be formed However, a few universities have already published the format for the API score as per the existing rules of the University Grants Commission. These rules are comparatively good but we are faced with the difficulty of following those in the present condition, the reason having been already mentioned above. In this article, an attempt has been made to discuss how to improve the present format of the API score with some modifications. The modified format is presented as follows:

Sl. No. 1. Lectures and tutorials allocation to add up to the UGC norm for a particular category of teacher. University may prescribe minimum cut-off (net of due leave) as minimum 80 per cent for the category

Sl. No. 2. Lectures or other duties in Excess of the UGC norms – 5 mark/hour

Sl. No. 3. Chairman of a syllabus preparing committee – 10 mark/syllabus; for all other members—5 marks (one person to act as chairman/member in one syllabus preparation/4 year duration, one person act as Chairman/Member more than one syllabus preparation in the same period is not to be counted nor encouraged).

Sl. No. 4. Contribution of matters for the improvement of subject content, course improvement – 1 point/ suggestion/contribution (only after the acceptance of University)

Sl. No. 5. One mark/hour for invigilation; one mark/day for evaluation/ assessment of manuscript;

One person to act as class tutor – 5 point/year

Sl. No. 6. Very Good – 15 Marks; Good – 10 Marks; Average—7 Marks; Bad—Zero

Sl. No. 7. 1 mark/day for all teachers participating in the tour programme (maximum teaching staff in a study tour 4; each staff get same marks)

For one day Trip 2 staff permissible, more than two days trip with more than 25 students – 4 staffs.

Sl. No. 1. Appointed as Co-ordinator or Convenor for NSS/NCC/Clubs in an academic year – 10 Marks. Members in each club – 1 point/year (Co-convenor in clubs should also be considered as a member). For Convenor/ Co-ordinator/ Co-convenor of different programmes/celebrations/seminars conducted in College level or University level—2 points/each programme (number of days of the programme not to be counted). Members in each programme—1 Marks / programme for all members, (maximum number of Co-convenors and members in a programme is limited to 20)

Sl. No. 2. Appointed as convenor/ Co-ordinator for academic administrative committees of the College/Universities/ Elected members of various committees/academic bodies of the Universities – 5 marks/ academic year; one person as Head of the Department – 5 points/year

Sl. No. 3. Participation of seminars—1 mark/one day seminar/conference without paper presentation, 2 mark/Participation with paper presentation; short term training courses- 1mark per day; for talks—1 mark/talk; for general lectures—1 mark/lecture other than their subject; for membership of association—1 mark/year/association; for dissemination and general articles not covered in category III—5 mark for first author and corresponding author, 4 marks for all other authors per article; 10 points for Chief Editor of an ISSN Journal, 7 point for chief editor of a Journal without ISSN, 7 points for every members of the editorial board of ISSN Journal, 5 points for all members of editorial board of Journal without ISSN/year.

Direct Appointments of Outstanding faculties as teachers in various Departments of Universities and other Colleges (Maximum of 25 per cent appointments to be permitted as direct entry)

Category 1. Appointment of Assistant Professors (Extraordinary personalities): Very few people have extraordinary efficiency in various fields and they give more outstanding contributions to the society through Research and other related activities, but they have little / perhaps no experience in the field of teaching; under such a situation a minimum eligibility with 2000 API score shall be earned to get appointed as Assistant Professors without any written test or Interview. Age limit is compulsory as per the Universities.

Category 2. Direct Appointment of Associate Professors (equivalent in stage 4):
Qualification: Ph.D with 8 years experience as Assistant Professors in College level or in University Departments/ Scientist of Minimum cadre C in reputed Research Institute with minimum of 2500 API (there is no separate minimum for different category). In addition to the above qualifications, produced minimum 5 number of Ph.D in their service and add the points achieved in Interview.

Category 3. Direct Appointment of Professors (equivalent in stage 5):
Qualification: Ph.D with 10 years experience as Assistant Professor/ Associate Professor in College level or in University Departments/ Scientist of minimum cadre C in reputed Research Institute with 3000 API (there is no separate minimum for different category). In addition to the above qualifications, produced 10 Ph.D in their service and their mark in Interview. Minimum 2 patents in their credit is an additional advantage.

Category 4. Direct Appointment of Professors (equivalent in stage 6):
Qualification: Ph.D with 10 years experience as Assistant Professor/ Associate Professor in College level or in University Departments/ Scientist of minimum cadre C in reputed Research Institute with 3000 API (there is no separate minimum for different category). In addition to the above qualification, produced 10 Ph.D in their service and got an award not below than 10 lakhs rupees and the performance in the Interview. Minimum 3 patents in their credit is an additional advantage.

How to conduct Interview?

IN this article it is suggested that Interview may not be conducted for the promotion of teachers from stage 1 to stage 4 i.e. from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor. But Interview will be conducted for the promotion of Teachers from Stage 4 to 5 and stage 5 to 6; Associate Professor to Professor (cadre 5), Professor (Cadre 5) to Professor (Cadre 6) as per the modified rule. Maximum mark for Interview is 90 points (20 per cent of minimum API Score) for the promotion of Associate professor to Professor Cadre 5 and 100 points (20 per cent of Minimum API Score) for the promotion of Professor (Cadre 5) to Professor (Cadre 6). One who achieves 50% points in the interview will be promoted. But those who are shortlisted for the Interview must achieve a minimum API score which has already been mentioned in this article.
Interview for Direct Appointment of Teachers in different stage
It has already been mentioned in the article the interview pattern for Entry cadre, Assistant Professor to a College or any other departments of Universities. Similarly Interview will be conducted for direct appointment of Associate Professor and Professor, cadre 5 and Professor, cadre 6.
For the direct appointment of Associate Professor in a college or in any Department of Universities, 100 point for interview, 150 point for the direct selection of Professor (Cadre 5) and 200 point for the direct selection of Professor (Cadre 6). One who achieves these minimum points in the interview will be added to his API score and finally could publish the Rank list based on their final Score.

How to solve other problems?

Problem No. 1. Calculation of points of Faculty improvement Programme/ Post Doctoral Fellowship of teachers already in service.
In the above situation, achieving the minimum points from Category 1 (Teaching, Learning and Evaluation related activities) is difficult to the teachers, because of their physical absence. There is only one solution to overcome the situation, that is, minimum 75 points is to be given to the teachers per year in this category, (maximum 2 years permitted for Post Doctoral Fellowship and maximum 3 year for Faculty Improvement Programme in their whole service). The points from the remaining two categories (category 2 and 3) are to be achieved by the teachers by their own effort).

Problem No. 2. Achieving minimum score/points in the period of promotion stage from one stage to next stage
Most of the teachers have to achieve minimum API score during the different stages of their promotion at proper time as per the above Tables. But some faculty members might face some difficulties to achieve the minimum score at the allotted time scale. In this situation Universities should consider these people with some relaxation. For example if one person achieve only 300 points after the completion of 4 years working as Assistant Professor having Ph.D at entry Cadre in a College/in a University Departments, instead of the minimum API score of 400 (300 minimum from Category 1 and remainimg100 points to be achieved from category 2 and 3) he/she will be promoted to the next stage but by allottingthem one more year to achieve the minimum score of API. The period for the next stage (stage 2 onwards) promotion is calculated only after achieving the first stage. That means some people will be getting their promotion at proper time but a few people take a little more years than the normal period, for getting their promotion from one stage to the next stage.
Problem 3. Persons achieve more points than minimum score for a stage promotion
Sometimes certain faculty members might achieve more points during the completion of one stage, for example in stage one, if they achieve 500 points and the minimum score required for their promotion is only 400 points. Here a suggestion is to be made that 400 points will be used for the next stage promotion. The remaining points will not be counted for the next stage or not to transfer to at any stage. That means the remaining score will be lapsed in normal stage of promotion. In addition to these once used the API Score, it will not be counted at any stage of promotion. However, the all API score will be counted for Direct Appointment of Associate Professor and Professor Post in the Colleges or Departments of Universities.
Introduce a New Cadre in between Assistant
Professor and Associate Professor

In the present article a chance to introduce a new cadre between Assistant Professor and Associate Professor, has been discussed because those having completed 12 years of service as Assistant Professor may be promoted to the post of Associate Professor. He/she will again have a chance to get promoted to the post of Professor after three years, with respect to the minimum API score and with the performance in the interview. For overcoming the problem, one extra Cadre; Junior Associate Professor or Associate Professor—Junior with a new pay scale should be allotted after the completion of stage 2.

Who can act as a Principal in a College?

IN the present scenario, seniority is the yardstick for the appointment of Principal in a college, but in this article an attempt has been made in discussing a chance to introduce qualification based outstanding contribution for the principal appointment in colleges. That means the one who has been shortlisted for a principal vacancy should have at least 10 years teaching experience as Assistant Professor/Associate Professor in colleges with 1500 API and should have already produced a minimum of 3 Ph.Ds in their service with a minimum of 3 years remaining service. Interview also to be conducted for the appointment of the post of principal. After the interview, the API score of the candidate will be added to the interview marks and finally to be published in the Rank list. And also here suggesting that the principal should be appointed for a maximum period of 3 years, and thereafter he/she may be or may not be continued based on the performance of a second interview.

Who should be selected as Dean of the University?

THE Dean of the University will be selected from a seniority list, prepared from all Professors of the University, including various Departments of Universities and Colleges. After the preparation of the seniority list, first person in the rank list shall be appointed as the Dean of the respective faculty/subject with tenure of a maximum of three years. In addition to this, in every year the list shall be renewed if the situation demands. The faculty members once selected and appointed for the post may not to be considered for the same any further.

Who will act as the Vice-Chancellor of a University?

HERE we are suggesting that people with outstanding contribution to the society through Teaching/ Research should be selected as Vice-Chancellor of a University. For this Post the requirement is a minimum of 15 years Teaching experience in a College or in a Department of Universities, and in this period a minimum of 4 year work as Associate Professor or Professor stage 5 or 6 with 3000 API and production of a minimum of 15 Ph.Ds during their service. In addition the candidate should have won a Prize of more than 25 lakhs. The overall performance in interview also is to be considered for the post. If suppose no candidate is reported for the selection of the post with the above mentioned API score and criteria, the candidates with maximum score shortlisted may be posted as Vice Chancellor in-charge of a University.

When to get introduced?

THERE is no clarification formed in any university in India for introducing the API score, but it is believed to have been already introduced from 2010. There is confusion regarding the API score. However, certain teachers score in APIs in category 1/first stage, while certain others doesn’t even score at all. For overcoming the situation same priority should be given to both teachers and may be promoted to the next stage. Such relaxations shall be provided to the teachers of all faculties only for a single time. But no such relaxations to be given to the next stage promotion of direct appointment of Associate Professor or Professor in a College of any Department of Universities.

Conclusion

THE above suggestions of all three categories may be useful for the preparation of the API Score in all subjects. But some difficulties may come in case of Teachers working in Physical Education and Library Sciences during the time of calculation of their API score in category 1. For such persons a new pattern will help to achieve the minimum score in category 1. However, in this article no new pattern for such faculty members has been mentioned. But here also it is suggested that the minimum 25 per cent posts of Associate Professors and Professors in colleges or Departments of Universities will be appointed from direct recruitment other than seniority in faculties.

Santhoshkumar, R. is an Assistant Professor and Head of the Department, Post-Graduate Studies and Research Centre of Botany, Mahatma Gandhi College, Thiruvananthapuram. Neethu, S. Kumar is an Assistant Professor, Post-Graduate Department and Research Centre of Botany, Mahatma Gandhi College, Thiruvananthapuram. They can be contacted at e-mails santhoshkumar30576[at]gmail.com and neethu777[at]gmail.com respectively.

ISSN : 0542-1462 / RNI No. : 7064/62