NATIONAL EDUCATION POLICY 2020: UGC Releases Over 40 Advertisements to Appoint Professors of Practice to Bridge Industry-Academia Gap



In a strategic move to bridge the gap between industry practices and academic realms, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has rolled out more than 40 advertisements seeking applications for the position of Professor of Practice (PoP). This initiative aims to infuse real-world experiences directly into classrooms, fostering a symbiotic relationship between academia and industry professionals.

According to Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar, Chairman of the University Grants Commission, this push towards Professor of Practice appointments is a proactive step to bring industry and professional expertise into academic institutions. The concept of PoP positions was introduced a few years ago, with the primary objective of elevating the quality of higher education by integrating practitioners, policymakers, and seasoned professionals into the higher education system.

Aligned with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, which envisions a transformation in higher education with a focus on skill-based learning to meet industry and economic demands, the PoP initiative is a crucial component. The NEP emphasizes the amalgamation of vocational education with general education and advocates for robust industry-academia collaboration in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). This initiative is a step towards realizing the NEP’s goal of creating a workforce that thinks like employers and employers who understand the learner’s perspective.

The Professor of Practice initiative is poised to bring tangible benefits to both academia and industry. By infusing classrooms with real-world practices and experiences, it not only enhances the learning environment but also augments the faculty resources in higher education institutions. The end result is a pool of graduates equipped with relevant and practical skills, ready to contribute effectively to the demands of the professional landscape, as highlighted by the UGC.

Eligibility criteria for PoP

Eligibility criteria for potential candidates seeking the role of Professor of Practice span various fields, including engineering, science, technology, entrepreneurship, commerce, social sciences, media, literature, fine arts, civil services, armed forces, legal profession, community development, and more. Candidates should boast at least 15 years of significant service/experience in their specific profession or role, preferably at a senior level. Notably, formal academic qualifications are not deemed mandatory, opening the door for seasoned industry experts to contribute their wealth of experience.

Contract and Tenure of PoP

The PoP contracts may have an initial duration of up to one year, with a maximum service tenure of three years at a given institution. In exceptional cases, this tenure may be extendable by one more year, but the total service duration should not exceed four years under any circumstances.

As the academic landscape evolves to meet the demands of a dynamic world, the Professor of Practice initiative emerges as a pivotal strategy in harmonizing the realms of academia and industry. It is a testament to the commitment to quality education, ensuring that learners are not only equipped with theoretical knowledge but also with practical insights crucial for their success in the professional arena.

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