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9th January 2024 (7 Topics)

Upholding Values and Ethics in Higher Education: A Critical Examination of Mulya Pravah 2.0

Context

The recent initiative by University Grants Commission's (UGC) : Mulya Pravah 2.0 on the importance of transparency, accountability, and ethical conduct in higher education institutions.

Background

  • The UGC, in its pursuit of fostering ethical practices, introduced Mulya Pravah 2.0, an evolved version of the 2019 Mulya Pravah.
  • The guideline aims to instill human values and professional ethics in higher education, addressing issues highlighted in a survey of human resource managers, such as unethical practices in hiring, training, and gender discrimination.

Need: Corruption and ethical violations in admission, examinations, and university administration continue to plague the higher education system.

Key Highlights:

  1. Emphasis on Transparency:
  • Mulya Pravah 2.0 stresses the need for transparency in administration, urging decision-making to be guided solely by institutional and public interest.
  • It emphasizes the abolition of discriminatory privileges and calls for swift actions against corruption.
  1. Core Values and Integrity:
  • The guideline outlines the essential values for higher education institutions, including integrity, trusteeship, harmony, accountability, inclusiveness, commitment, respectfulness, belongingness, sustainability, constitutional values, and global citizenship.
  1. Confidentiality and Information Disclosure:
  • While emphasizing confidentiality, the article suggests that higher education institutions should voluntarily disclose critical information, agendas, proceedings, minutes of meetings, annual reports, and audited accounts to the public domain.
  • This can deter malpractices and enhance public confidence.
  1. Role of Teachers:
  • Recognizing teaching as a noble profession, Mulya Pravah 2.0 expects teachers to act as role models, setting examples of good conduct, dress, speech, and behavior.
  • It encourages adherence to institutional rules but remains silent on the issue of teachers' associations.
  1. Involvement of Unions and Support Groups:
  • The guideline expects staff and student unions to support administration in development activities and raise issues in a dignified manner.
  • However, the expectation that unions act as the team B of the administration and the importance of allowing stakeholders to participate proactively in decision-making can prove to be a double edged sword.
  • Concerns are being raised about potential misuse and threats to associations and unions of teachers, staff, and students.
  • It calls for a careful consideration of provisions that might cause more harm than good.

Importance of Ethics in Higher Education:

  • It's crucial to recognize that ethics in higher education is fundamental to the holistic development of students, the credibility of institutions, and the overall advancement of society.
  • Ethical practices contribute to a positive learning environment, fostering critical thinking, integrity, and responsible citizenship.
  • Ethics in higher education goes beyond compliance with regulations; it involves nurturing a culture of academic honesty, intellectual integrity, and social responsibility.
  • Institutions must prioritize the development of ethical leaders who can navigate complex challenges with integrity and contribute meaningfully to society.
  • Moreover, an ethical higher education system attracts and retains high-caliber faculty and students, enhancing the institution's reputation.
  • Collaboration between academia and industry thrives when built on ethical foundations, fostering innovation, research integrity, and societal impact.
  • The integration of values and ethics in higher education is not only a regulatory requirement but a cornerstone for building a responsible, sustainable, and impactful educational ecosystem.
  • Initiatives like Mulya Pravah 2.0, when implemented effectively, contribute to the broader goal of shaping ethical leaders and fostering a culture of excellence in higher education.

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