By instituting a top-down assessment scheme without concomitant support on the ground, the UGC conducted an experiment that was doomed to fail – and now threatens to take a good idea down with it.
Why should we expect teachers at colleges with second-class facilities – if that – to perform research and publish so that they can be good teachers?
If the UGC was truly serious about a transparent vetting process, its first step should be to make the list of journals available in a more accessible format.
In a system that awards specific points to some research activities, it is not the value of that research activity that is awarded points but the value addition to the discourse that makes it worthy of recognition.
Initiatives to check research fraud usually fall short because they are not eventually implemented or because techniques of fraud have advanced, rendering older measures as well as countermeasures irrelevant.
However, what can be questioned is the wisdom of taking up the task of preparing a comprehensive list of legitimate journals.
Why is it that our universities struggle to break into the top rankings of universities? While there are many reasons for this, given the space constraints, let us look at a particularly significant few.