The University Grants Commission (UGC) has for the first time taken an initiative to bring the industry and other professional into the academic institutions through a new category of positions called “Professor in Practice.”
This will help to take the real world practices and experiences into the classrooms and also augment the faculty resources in higher education institutions. The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 seeks to transform by focussing on skillbased education to meet the needs of the industry and economy. It has also recommended integrating vocational education with general education and strengthening industry-academia collaboration in higher education institutions.
Distinguished experts from various fields like engineering, science, technology, entrepreneurship, management, chartered accountancy, commerce, social sciences, media, literature, fine arts, civil services, armed forces, legal profession and public administration, panchayati raj, community development, watershed development, water harvesting, municipal planning among others will be brought into the academic institutions.
Distinguished experts who have proven expertise in their specific profession or role with at least 15 years of service/ experience, preferably at a senior level will be eligible for professor of practice.
A formal academic qualification is not considered essential for this position if they have exemplary professional practice. These experts will be exempted from the requirement of publications and other eligibility criteria stipulated for the recruitment of faculty members at the professor level.
The number of professor in practice in any higher education institution should not exceed 10 per cent of the sanctioned posts there. The professor in practice should be involved in the development and designing of courses and curriculum and introduce new courses and deliver lectures as per institutional policies.
The aim is to focus on enhanced industry-academia collaboration and encourage students in innovation and entrepreneurship projects and provide necessary mentorship for these activities.
These ‘professors’ will conduct lectures, workshops, seminars, organize training programmes in collaboration with the regular faculty members of the institutions. The tenure of the professor of practice may be initially for a year. After the stipulated period, the higher education institution should assess the contribution of the teacher before giving extension.
The maximum duration of service in any higher education institution should not exceed three years. The vice chancellors/ directors may invite nominations from eminent experts for the position.
The nominations will be considered by a selection committee, consisting of two senior professors from the higher education institution and one eminent external member. Based on the recommendations of the committee, the academic council and the executive council of the education institution will decide the induction of the Professor in Practice.