Expressing anguish at the “acute shortage” of faculty members in IITs, IIMs and universities, a parliamentary panel has asked the government to take steps to fill up the vacancies and to make the teaching profession more attractive. In a report, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Human Resource Development (HRD), headed by BJP MP Satyanarayan Jatiya, has asked the Department of Higher Education to expedite the process of filling up the vacancies. The committee was “anguished” to find that from well-established central universities to those set up recently, state or private varsities, IITs or IIMs were functioning with large vacancies. The shortage of faculty has been a big handicap in ensuring quality education.
The availability of adequate and qualified faculty is a pre-requisite for quality education, the 31-member panel observed. The situation continues to be grim with no improvement seen in near future. “There can be only two possibilities, either our young students are not attracted towards the teaching profession or the recruitment process is a prolonged one and involves too many procedural formalities,” the committee pointed out. Referring to the Department of Higher Education under the HRD Ministry, the panel said that it is the nodal authority for the entire country for higher education sector and it should take a proactive role to expediting filling up of existing vacancies.
The panel also recommended that to make the teaching profession more attractive, the faculty should be encouraged to undertake consultancy and should also be given start-up financial support.
The HRD Ministry had last December told Parliament that 1,310 posts of professors were vacant in various central universities.
In the recently concluded parliament session, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar had said that a majority of vacancies for teachers in universities and colleges would be filled up this year.
It is learnt that out of the total teaching posts of 17,006 in various UGC-funded central universities, 6,080 teaching posts are lying vacant as on October 1, 2016.
In its report, the panel has also expressed concern at the lack of employable skills of students passing out of technical students and has asked the government to take steps to address the issue.