CM expresses dismay over teachers' attitude
The Times of India
April 12, 2013
Chief minister PrithivrajChavan on Thursday expressed his dismay at the lack of support to innovation and research in the state, especially from the teaching community in the higher education system. Chavan was speaking at the 26th foundation day function of the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) at the University of Pune.
"The teachers want to be paid without acquiring minimum qualifications like NET/SET or PhD. They have formed unions to fight the government," the chief minister said.
"We are facing a problem due to teachers boycotting exam work and answer sheet assessment. We have refused to extend those facilities to them that are subject to the condition of acquiring minimum qualifications," Chavan said in reference to the ongoing statewide boycott of exam work by senior college teachers since February 4.
"We are not throwing them (teachers) out of their jobs but only insisting on minimum qualifications. But they have remained adamant so far," he added.
Close to 45,000 teachers in the state have boycotted the exam work in support of their demand for release of the Sixth Pay Commission arrears and regularization of the non-NET/SET qualified teachers appointed between September 19, 1991 and April 3, 2000.
The University Grants Commission had issued regulations in 2009 making NET or SET mandatory for appointment as teachers in recognized universities and colleges.
Chavan called for focus on development of computer software in Indian languages to ensure that a large number of people are able to use computers. Developing voice-to-text technology, which can replace keyboards, and securing accurate translation should be the focus of organizations like C-DAC, he said.
Chavan added, "India could not become an IT superpower in the late 1970s due to the then economic policy of ban on foreign direct investment and as well as the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act. However, there is an opportunity to correct the situation now by focusing on development of innovation and research."
"We need to correct the 90:10 software to hardware ratio in the IT industry by securing a robust hardware industry, which is also critical to India's security and defence requirements. India has a comparative advantage over China, Taiwan and Korea in terms of its youth, who are well-versed in English. The country can no more rely on natural resources to achieve a superpower status but need to focus on its human resource and develop innovations based on enterprise," Chavan said. "India will lose to China in terms of innovation if we do not address these areas. The IT industry and research organizations need to take this as a challenge," he added.
Project director of the Agni missile programme, Tessy Thomas, spoke on the importance of high computing applications for defence technologies. Former deputy chairman of TCS F C Kohli also addressed the function, while C-DAC director general Rajat Moona presented the annual report. Executive director Hemant Darbari, former IIT Kanpur director Sanjay Dhande, eminent scientist Govind Swarup, director of the College of Engineering in Pune Anil Sahasrabudhe, divisional commissioner Prabhakar Deshmukh and district collector Vikas Deshmukh were also present at the event.