INSTITUTES/CENTRES > U.G.C. Academic Staff Colleges :
The National Policy of Education (NPE) of 1986 stated: "Teachers will have multiple roles to perform, teaching, research, development of learning resource material, extension and managing the institution. futile and in service training will be made mandatory for faculty members and adequate training resources will be provided. Staff development programmes will be integrated at the state and coordinated at Regional and National levels".
It is to attend to these priority areas of NPE- 1986 that 48 Academic Staff Colleges were established in India during the seventh Five Year Plan. Initiated in 1987 in the University System in all earnestness and in spite of financial constraints the ASCs have been working continuously with growing popularity and increased enrolment. Today the ASCs have matured into a vibrant institution due to the commitment of its Directors, effective involvement of host universities and above all, the eagerness and enthusiasm of d)e participating teachers. The uniqueness of the scheme had been that it operates throughout the year without any vacations as provided by the University system. The UGC regularly monitors the Scheme with the help of institutional self -evaluation by the Directors of the ASC and senior functionaries of the UGC, NlEPA and subject experts.
The main aim of ASC is to facilitate quality and relevance of Higher Education through upgradation of knowledge and skills of teachers working in the higher education system (teachers serving in College and in the University departments). An added advantage of such a system is that it serves as a platform for interaction and with eminent resource persons, scholars from their respective disciplines and other disciplines.
The ASCs conduct Orientation Programmes (OP) and Refresher Courses (RC) regularly besides seminars and workshops in different areas of higher education.
The UGC has now made it mandatory for teachers to attend one Orientation Programme (OP) and two Refresher Courses (RC) for promotion under the new Career Advancement Scheme (CAS) resulting in increased enrolment of and greater responsibility for the ASC. The ) challenges before the ASC are many- issues of quality and relevance of academic staff development programmes and their impact on the individual teachers and institutions, ways and means of strengthening the organisational structure of the ASC, development of better infrastructural facilities and finally issues of effective evaluation of the participants to ensure quality of the programme in which a sizable amount of public money is involved .
The UGC-Academic Staff College, Lucknow University was established in 1988 (in the first I phase of the scheme) and Prof. A.K. Srivastava; from the Department of English and Modem European Languages, Lucknow University was its founder full time Director. Dr. B.K.P.N. Singh (Deptt. of Physics) was full time Director from 1993-1999, Prof. V.D. Gupta (Deptt. of Physics), Prof. R.N. Singh (Deptt. of Physics) have held Additional charge as Director and Dr. D. Srivastava (Deputy Director UGC-ASC) has been Incharge Director for 13 years since its inception.
The ASC works towards implementing the policies of the UGC in accordance with the guidelines issued and the programmes are aimed at achieving the objectives of the scheme as innovatively as possible.
To ensure quality of the programme and to build the image of the ASC the following activities have been initiated:
(a) Greater interaction and collaborations with various academic/research/scientific/cuItural institutes and organisations of National and State level stature in the city to be ensured. Resource will be drawn from amongst them also and participants will be taken around on educational and study tours to enable them to understand and study various professional and organisational structures. Facilities extended by these institutes will also be utilised ' to facilitate the training of the participant teachers.
(b) Innovations in pedagogy is envisaged. A more culture centric/specific pedagogy needs to be created-explored - debated and tested. Projects related to this need are proposed in the future. Opinions of participants/teachers through specific questionnaires will be taken up and on the basis of that research project prepared and financial help sought from suitable funding agencies.
(c) Introducing teachers to the more innovative pedagogical methods for classroom teaching like use of Theatre in education, Internet as an educational tool to expand classroom resources, organisation of other large participative activities enhancing classroom learning - like quizzes, mind teasers, performance oriented acts and study etc.
(d) It is proposed to improve existing infrastructural facilities by seeking financial assistance from the UGC and the State Govt. for building of a new ASC complex on the existing land of the University. Addition of more equipment and books for the library is proposed.
(e) Workshop/seminar/training programme for college principals from the catchment area is being planned and ground work is being done.
(f) Subject-wise need analysis of the catchment area has been done in collaboration with the Deptt. of Higher Education - Govt. of Uttar Pradesh. UGC-ASC Lucknow has been entrusted the job to co-ordinate with the 5 State ASCs and draw up a list for the Deptt. of Higher Education, so that a consolidated programme for OPs and RCs, for 2001- 2002 and 2002-2003 could be speedily drawn up and information sent to all the Colleges/Universities of the State.
(g) ASC proposes to hold a year round lecture series on various issues related to Higher Education. This collaborative project will enable eminent experts, educationists, social and cultural persons, art practitioners etc. visiting local National/State level Institutes to deliver lectures at the ASC on a regular basis at no extra cost. Teachers from local Colleges, University and from nearby cities will be extended invitations to attend.
(h) Every month a value based discourse for University and Degree College teachers on relevant issues in an interactive, informal format using Theatre, Devotional music etc. to foster better interpersonal relations between teachers to enable attitudinal changes to begin, has been launched from December 2002.
(i) Publication of a Newsletter and Research Papers submitted by participants is being edited and published in special volumes.
Innovations by ASC
- Courses are conducted in collaboration with various National level Institutes/Organisations of the city, from where eminent resource persons and facilities are drawn and utilised. Some of the institutions are : Birbal Sahani Institute of Palaeobotany (BSIP), National Botanical Research of Institute (NBRI), Central Drug and Research Institute (CDRI), Industrial Toxicological Research Centre (ITRC), Indian Institute of Management - Lucknow (11M), Geological Survey of India (GSI), Central Institute for Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP), Sugarcane Institute, National Research Laboratory for Conservation of Cultural Properties (NRLCC), Bhatkhande University of Music , Rashtriya/Rajya Lalitkala Akademi, Bhartendu Akademy of Dramatic Arts, Sangeet Natak Akademi - Govt. of U.P., Indian Council for Philosophical Research (ICPR), Literacy House, Mahila Samakhya, State Institute for Rural Development (SIRD), State Urdu Akademi, Hindi Sansthan, State' Urban Development Authority (SUDA), Industrial Management Development of Uttar Pradesh (IMDUP).
- Following data acquired and processed at the UGC, ASC of University ofLucknow: (a) Entry Behaviour Test. (b) Personality Profile Battery. (c) Lecture demonstration (d) Faculty Evaluations. (e) Review writing Exericses. (t) Evaluation of participants by the subject expert and evaluation of resource person by participant. (g) Course CoTltent Analysis: (i) by the participants (ii) by the Resource persons. (h) A scheme for post - training exercises for teachers having passed through the ASC. (i) Project papers (subject specific) acquired from each participant at the end of each course.
- Introduction of new techniques in teaching- like demonstrations for use of the3;tre performance in classroom teaching, subject specific Quiz competitions for participants, lecture demonstrations by resource persons and each participants compulsorily.
- Introduction of group discussions on relevant I - current issues (social, cultural, political, academic) having relevance in higher education both for teachers and students. Discussions are conducted by participants who select their own group leaders and submit ~ a written review and recommendations at the end of it.
- Classes in Computer applications, Pedagogy, Methodology are being regularly conducted for both Refresher Course and Orientation ( Programme teachers along with mandatory evaluation exercises.
- Yoga and Meditation classes are conducted for each batch to help teachers in stress management and to enhance the quality of their lives.
The year 2001 was specially significant for the ASC. The Deptt. of Higher Education, Govt. of U.P. entrusted us the job to co-ordinate with the 5 state ASCs and draw up a subject-wise, need based report/analysis for OPs and RCs required by teachers in U.P. for their Career Advancement Scheme promotions to be completed before December 2001. On the basis of the data collected the 5 ASCs of U .P. were ( allocated RCs and OPs by the UGC to clear the backlog. The UGC-ASC, Lucknow University was allocated RCs in a record number of subjects including Music (in association with Bhatkhande Univeristy) and Fine Arts.