JNTU Hyderabad to Introduce Professor of Practice Concept, UGC Chairman Praises Move

The New Education Policy (NEP) 2022 laid special focus on introducing new, advanced syllabus of fields such as coding and artificial intelligence in educational institutions. Additionally, there is a focus on offering courses in as many regional languages as possible. However, finding teachers with adequate academic qualifications and industry experience to teach such subjects is a difficult task. Hence, the professor of practice concept applied in Hyderabad’s Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University (JNTU) might provide a remedy.

Referring to the initiative taken by JNTU, Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar, the Chairman of the University Grants Commission, said that “more universities need to take advantage of this to provide enriching mentoring to the students.”

The professor of practice idea first came into limelight in August this year when the UGC approved the draft guidelines for engaging them in higher education institutions. As per this concept, which JNTU will be introducing from this academic year onwards, colleges will be able to appoint distinguished professionals in relevant fields as faculty members, bypassing the mandatory Ph.D. clause. The decision will apply to colleges under JNTU that offer Engineering, Pharmacy, MBA, and MCA courses.

Read | UGC Asks Universities to Adopt ‘Professors of Practice’ Guidelines

In line with the UGC guidelines, JNTU will require professionals to have at least 15 years of service/experience in their profession to be eligible to become professors of practice. Such positions would not be open for those in the teaching profession. The guidelines further state that such professors can only be appointed to 10 percent of the sanctioned posts. They will only be allowed to serve for a maximum period of three years.

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Speaking to Telangana Today, Prof M Manzoor Hussain, the Registrar of JNTU-Hyderabad said, “For courses like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Data Science, it is difficult to find faculty members. So, it has been decided to introduce the Professor of Practice enabling institutions to hire industry experts as teachers.” He added that the university is holding discussions with the industry to identify experts who can teach in the colleges.

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