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Academic Performance Indicators (API Score) and Quality Legal Education

By: Aditya Anand | July 5, 2019

Academic Performance Indicators? What for?

In a country with almost 800 Universities, 40000 Colleges and nearly 1500 law colleges, the choice of a student is dauntingly confusing. There are a lot of factors that are at play while deciding how suitable a University is for a student.

The most important being the quality of faculty since the primary objective of any institution is the quality of education it imparts. The faculty are majorly responsible for this along with other factors like education tools, library, research databases, etc.

There is however a steep decline in quality education be it legal or otherwise. Every year lacs of students graduate but the employment is taking a steep decline. The market is to be blamed partly for that but mostly the quality of graduates.

While it is true that a graduate becomes what it does in the course of study, the effect of a good faculty brushes off on the graduate.

How do we decide which college has the best faculty? We can’t take a class in 40000 colleges. We can’t solely depend on reviews as they may be biased. The educational qualification of a faculty tells a story but it is not enough to come to a conclusion since teaching is an art.

The University Grants Commission has a way of assessing the academicians by way of Academic Performance Indicators.

This develops a score which gives us an idea about how many years of teaching experience does a faculty have, how many books has she/he published, how many publications does the faculty have, how many conferences has the faculty attended, etc.

What is API?

API is the common abbreviation for academic performance indicators. The measure that gives away the growth of a student, teacher or an institution. This was introduced by the UGC in 2010.

Generally, the institutions resort to reviewing the API scores of the teaching professionals in determining whether to promote them or not to a higher position of responsibility.

However, API has been in controversy over the change in regulations.

Controversy over API (Academic Performance Indicator)

Students with a score of 75% or more get to evaluate their faculties and the evaluation will become a part of their API score.

Under teaching learning evaluation, a teacher is required to score 100 points at the assistant professor level, 90 points at associate professor level and 80 points at professor level.

It was said that earlier the guidelines of API was not favourable to teachers who completely concentrate on teaching, it required them to do all sorts of activities like research, publications in order to be promoted or develop their API score.

It was also compelling a lot of faculties to push sub-standard research and publications into paid journals or poor quality journals.

The idea to award score for research is to motivate teachers into keeping their student flare alive and also have quality research being generated for future generations to study. This system, however, made them cut corners with many approaching paid journals for publications.

Therefore the student evaluation system allows teachers to concentrate on teaching equally as it now helps their API as well.

Editor’s Note: We hope API develops into a form which would ensure quality legal education in the country and also rewarding for those who work hard in the teaching profession. Read here to see what all parameters are considered to arrive at the API score. Read our article here on 6 ways how legal education in India can be improved.

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Aditya Anand

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