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Faculty Shortage in India’s Premier Institutions, 38% Seats Vacant

As per the HRD ministry data, 14,372 out of 39,822 sanctioned posts across all the top universities are vacant.

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Premier institutions In India like IITs IIMs and IISERs are facing a collective faculty shortage of 38 percent with cumulative vacancies as high as at 74 percent at the IIMs, 38.4 percent at IIT’s and 36.5 percent at NITs, reported The Times of India.

As per the HRD ministry data, 14,372 out of 39,822 sanctioned posts across all the top universities, Central universities as well as other institutes that are funded by the centre, are vacant.

According to the ministry, the reason for the vacancies is majorly due to retirement, resignation and due to increased student strength. A director of one of the institutes said that compared to the first 50 years, in the past two decades, the number of these institutions have more than doubled .

“However, there has not been a matching growth in our PhDs. The institutions do not always get the promised funds,” the director said.

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Data which is specific to IITs, NITs, IIMs and IISERs shows that of the 20,122 sanctioned faculty posts, 7,683 ( 38 percent) are vacant. The number is 34 percent for central universities IIITs, NITTRs (National Institute of Technical Teachers Training and Research) and other centrally-funded institutions.

TV Mohandas Pai, Chairman of the Board of Manipal Global, said that the primary problem concerns money and despite knowing in advance about the retirement dates and timeline of expansion, there is no proper planning.

“The Centre must seriously consider Anil Kakodkar committee recommendations and must reimagine the way institutions function and revisit the rigid norms that set faculty-student ratios,” he was quoted as saying by The Times of India.

IIMs which have the highest percentage of vacant posts i.e. 74 percent, need to fill up only 934 positions as compared to IITs which collectively need to fill up 3,876 positions, while it is 2,736 for NITs. The IISERs only have 10.6 percent shortage with 137 vacant positions to be filled.

Director, IIIT-B Prof S Sadagopan told The Times of India that hiring, increasing and retaining faculty is a challenge for every institution in the world and it is the same at many premiere institutes in the world including the MIT or Harvard as high-quality people are in short supply.

“That said, institutions deliberately don’t aim to fill up 100 percent posts as there needs to be room to infuse young blood periodically and have positions for the best when they are available.”
Director, IIIT-B Prof S Sadagopan

The central universities need to collectively fill up 6,210 posts. Out of the 58,138 sanctioned non-teaching posts across these institutions and universities, nearly 13,101 are vacant.

(With inputs from The Times of India)

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