Varsities short on staff may lose UGC aid
New Delhi, December 30
With the number of vacancies against teaching positions reaching alarming figures, the UGC has been coerced into addressing the critical issue.
“A number of university departments across the country, which began with 15 to 20 teachers, today have around three to four teachers. Vacancies against superannuation in several universities have not been filled for years, the average age of teachers in most universities is above 50 and in many state universities no recruitment has been made for several years,” acting Chairman Prof Rajasekharan Pillai told The Tribune.
He lamented that even as new courses, departments, teaching programmes and new colleges and universities were coming up, there was little, almost nothing, being done to fill vacant faculty positions across the country.
At a recent meeting, the commission was apprised of the situation. Expressing concern over the issue, which has been taken cognizance of by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Professor Pillai said: “I have suggested framing of norms so that universities and colleges that do not have certain minimum required faculty strength of say 70-80 per cent of the total strength may not be considered eligible for receiving support under various schemes of the UGC.”
He added: “NAAC may also be requested not to entertain the requests for accreditation from such institutions. In several self-financing institutions, though infrastructure may be good, the faculty however is not sufficient. They are running courses with guest faculty and teachers appointed on hourly basis.”
With an action plan to counter the situation under way, the UGC is contemplating the constitution of committees to visit some colleges and gather firsthand report and also suggest measures to be take by colleges and universities.
Suggesting steps to alleviate the problem, Professor Pillai said: “Young and capable teachers and researchers can be inducted in select good university departments for a limited duration to nucleate the talent. PhDs may be considered for teaching and research associateship.”
He also advocated “reviewing and improving of appointment, work patterns, career advancement schemes and incentives to merit, quality and excellence to save the country from the casualty of teaching institutions without teachers”.