Submissions of AIFUCTO on Gazette Notification on API (Academic Performance Indicator) - Request to withdraw the disastrous and regressive notification immediately

05/FUCTO/2016                                                                                                                                                                                                  27-05-2016

Smt.Smiriti Jubin Irani 
Hon’ble Minister, HRD 
Govt. of India, New Delhi  

Sub: AIFUCTO humble submissions on Gazette Notification on API (Academic Performance Indicator) & request to withdraw the disastrous and regressive notification immediately.

Respected Madam,


We would like to submit the following  regarding API  &  Gazette notification on 4th May’2016(which came in public domain on 17th May) and request  you  for your kind consideration  for the sake of teaching –learning process in Indian universities & colleges and also to save higher education sector in the country with diverse culture,language,economy, faith & belief.

University & college teachers across the country were eagerly waiting for the announcement of constitution of 7th Pay Review Committee after your positive assurances on 14th March, 2016 to AIFUCTO-FEDCUTA delegation on almost all demands including scrapping of API. But in the mean time the most regressive & disastrous Gazette Notification on API has agitated the university & college teachers across the country and aggravated the problems in many folds. Teachers across the country feel   ditched and betrayed.   After a very painful and long exercise done by AIFUCTO & FEDCUTA representatives for years, Prof. S P Tyagrajan committee was formed to look at anomalies in UGC Regulation 2010 and finally to revisit, Prof. Arun Nigvekar committee was entrusted.

The objectives of the Nigvekar committee were to review (i)API for recruitment and CAS and (II)Ph.D/NETas entry point qualification and suggest improvements/alternatives for attracting and retaining  talented manpower in teaching. However,the UGC Regulations (3rd Amendment) 2016 based on the report of the committee totally defeats these objectives.The committe has gone beyond its mandate .  The Govt. of India committed a blunder by notifying it without threadbare discussion with teachers’ organizations.

The Gazette notification on API is’ ultra vires’ the regulation of June 30, 2010 as Appendix of regulations cannot overrule the regulation itself. Government has done just opposite of what was required to be done.If it had been discussed with teachers’ organizations, such a situation could have been avoided. Delay in constitution of 7th Pay Review Committee is already agitating teaching community in higher education sector.The amended Gazette of API added fuel to the fire .

The capping of category III notified in 2013, has created serious problems and has aggravated it many folds as teachers across the faculties, subjects, universities and colleges are supposed to perform on identical parameters. While in actual reality, most of them never get the opportunity to work in all sub-categories. Instead of providing relief to teachers working in small town and remote areas it has reduced the research requirements of university teachers and,  has increased the weightage on research for college teachers. Does the Government of India believe that colleges all over the country have better research facility than the universities?

Following are our humble submissions in support of immediate withdrawal of this gazette notification:

1) Contrary to the claims of MHRD, the API requirements for promotions have been made more stringent.

2) Awarding points only on the basis of publications in UGC recognized journals-publishers will create more problems than solutions owing the inadequacy of such journals in many fields.

3) The distribution scheme of the points  among the co authors and on the basis of impact factor is arbitrary. In this scheme only first author gets some points and others get almost no point.

4) Limited no. of seminars and workshops are allowed.

5) Again for interview of Professor and Associate Professor table counting method will be applied instead of interview.

6) IQAC committee has large power. It is more powerful than selection committee .

7) Increase of direct teaching hours will adversely affect academic standards through unably long teaching hours and unjustifiably high student-teacher ratio. This will have a more adverse impact on the Global Rankings of Indian Universities, pulling them down further,by several notches.

These amendments seek to redefine direct teaching hours as exclusive of Tutorials. The devaluation of small group Tutorials and Preceptorials is matched by devaluation of practicals. Two hours spent on guiding student in practical has been made equivalent to one  hour spent on lecturing. This will adversely impact attention given to the valuable learning needs of students and hit the academic performance of the student coming from disadvantaged backgrounds.

8) For sciences two hours of practical would be treated as one hour of lecture which undermines the importance of practical classes in the era of Skill India and Make In India.

9) For every ten hours class room teaching a teacher shall get 1(one) API score and maximum score in class room teaching is 60 which is never achievable for teachers.

10) Ten hours examination duty (including evaluation and question setting) equal to 1 API point and maximum score is 10.It is not at all achievable by a teacher.

11) Total 80 points of API is necessary per year to become eligible for promotion. This target for a teacher  is also very difficult.

12) All these above developments will reduce the requirement of teachers drastically and thousand of ad-hoc teachers working for years will be rendered jobless from forth coming session. CBCS has already reduced the vacancies in the universities to great extent.

13)  On an average a teacher, if assigned an extra workload, leaving very less time for preparing quality lectures and research activities. Ultimate sufferers will be students. Also quality of teaching will deteriorate.

14) With this 3rd amendment, student feedback has been made mandatory  for promotions of the teachers. Student’s feedback will be counterproductive for teachers as well as students in the prevailing Indian political and social situations with inherent contradictions. 

15) The MHRD letter sent on 4th May 2016 tied down the hand of the universities in bringing some variation depending on local statutes and conventions, which will cause further hardship for teachers awaiting promotions for years.

16) These amendments also retain the API based PBAS system. Its  irrational quantification of teacher’s performance requirement of accumulation of points has demoralised teachers and caused deliberate denial and delay in promotions.

Madam, here we want to mention that AIFUCTO and FEDCUTA have been jointly fighting a prolonged struggle for the removal of the faulty API for teachers however, in complete departure from the past practice, the committee did not consult with the All India bodies of teachers and drew up its recommendation in completely unilateral manner.

This   gazzette notification on API and Workload in present form is not at all acceptable to AIFUCTO. Such hasty decision will only alienate the teaching community and disrupt all efforts to improve the standards of university education and  bureaucratic  adamancy will only invite the collective anger and non-coperation of the teaching community.

The AIFUCTO appeals to the UGC and MHRD to withdraw these amendments immediately and request to make consultation with all India teacher’s organizations like AIFUCTO- FEDCUTA for meaningful notification. We further request you to take necessary steps immediately to roll out the API system for saving the teaching-learning process in India.

Respected Madam, we shall wait for a favorable reply from you before 10th June so that in the proposed NEC meeting of AIFUCTO on 25th and 26th June in Dehradun, we may discuss the whole issue in detail.

Prof.Kesab Bhattacharaya

Dr.Arun Kumar
General Secretary