In a way to assess the performance of teachers, the HRD Ministry led by Smriti Irani has made some fundamental change. Now for the very first time, students will have a say in the evaluation of the teachers.
The aim is to change the present criteria of Academic Performance Indicators (API) scores, which relied heavily on co-curricular activities and research.
"As per the new norms, students who have an attendance of 75 per cent will be able to give feedback of their teachers. The predominant weightage in evaluating teachers has been given to their teaching, learning and evaluating capacity," a senior HRD ministry official said.
Explaining the reason for bringing this change, the official said that under the previous criteria of API scores, a 30 per cent weightage was given to co-curricular activities and another 30 per cent to research.
Many teachers' bodies have agitated against the API system which was introduced in 2010 as it was often perceived to be not fair.
"The result of making research an essential component on the basis of which a teacher would be assessed and promoted, was that a lot of substandard in not very significant journals took place. Moreover teachers who focused more on teaching than say on extracurricular activities like refereeing a basketball match sometimes found themselves at a disadvantage," another HRD official said.
"The main focus of the changes that we are bringing in this criteria is that a teacher's performance should be linked with - how well does he teach," a senior HRD official said.