According to records with the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry, nearly 33 per cent of the sanctioned faculty strength is lying vacant in the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and about 35 per cent in the National Institutes of Technology.
Besides, 19.25 per cent of the posts in the engineering colleges, approved by the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE), are vacant.
“The number of students increased by 54 per cent there by increasing the requirement of faculty,” a senior IIT faculty told Deccan Herald.
The teacher-student ratio in the seven older IITs is about 1:16 at present, higher than the suggested 1:10. In the eight new IITs, the ratio is about 1:8, in adherence to the international standards. About 1,600 teaching positions are required to offset the faculty shortage in the 15 IITs in the country.
An HRD Ministry official said the government has initiated several measures to meet the faculty shortage. Recently, the government decided to allow the faculty, working under the Central government or Central autonomous bodies, to join the newly set up Central educational institutions on long-term deputation basis for a period of ten years.
The AICTE has also allowed the recruitment of teachers with B Tech degrees as pro-term lecturers.
A pro-term lecturer will have to obtain a masters degree within three years.
“But, non-availability of qualified candidates for taking up teaching assignments in engineering colleges is a serious issue. Most of the students, after completing B Tech, get lucrative offers from the private sector. Why will a B Tech opt for a teaching job for Rs 16-18,000 per month?” a faculty at IIT-Kanpur said.
The institutions are engaging contract, adjunct and visiting faculties to meet the shortage. The government had also launched a special recruitment drive to fill the backlog vacancies for SCs, STs and OBCs in the centrally funded technical institutions.
“One of the major issues is that students are not going for PhDs. Very few institutes conduct PhD programmes (in engineering courses). We are now trying to increase the number of PhDs. I think, this will start yielding results in the next five years. Filling of faculty positions is not an easy task,” Director of IIT Guwahati, Gautam Barua, told Deccan Herald.
The government aims at expanding its research output to produce 10,000 PhDs annually from around 1,000 at present, besides increasing the faculty strength from around 4,000 at present, to 16,000 by 2020, an HRD Ministry official said.