M A I N   N E W S

Faculty shortage in colleges, varsities a whopping 54%
Aditi Tandon/TNS

New Delhi, August 9
India’s higher education sector is working with half the teacher strength it actually needs. The first major government assessment of faculty crunch in colleges and universities across the country has thrown up shocking results, putting the faculty resource shortage in the country at 54 per cent. This is much higher than 40 per cent previously estimated.

The student ratio in the country is a whopping 1: 20.9 whereas according to the UGC’s own standards, it should be only 1: 13.5 (1: 12 for postgraduate students and 1: 15 for undergraduate students).

Student ratio currently is higher by 7.4 students per teacher for which the additional teacher requirement is 3, 83,868, which is the current shortage. In percentage terms, the teacher shortage stands at 54 pc, state the findings of the special taskforce the Human Resource Development Ministry had constituted on September 14, 2009 on “Faculty Shortage and Design of Performance Appraisal System.”

After two years of fieldwork, the taskforce today submitted its report to the government, pegging the additional teacher requirement in India’s colleges and universities at 13, 17,331 by the end of the 12th Plan in 2017. The projection has been made on the basis of average annual gworth of 6 per cent in student enrolment in the country. The taskforce made its projections after meeting all higher education regulators including the UGC, the AICTE, the MCI, the Pharmacy Council of India, Bar Council of India and the Dental Council of India.

Given the sheer scale of the crunch, government’s goal of attainment of a Gross Enrollment Ratio of 20 per cent by 2015 in the higher education sector looks unachievable unless of course teachers are provided for. India’s current GER (number of students who enter colleges) is a dismal 12.4 pc, which is half of the world’s average.

So far as the faculty crunch goes, the committee found the Central universities reeling under severely shortage. Of the total sanctioned faculty strength of 13514 in these universities, 4662 are unfilled, taking the percentage shortage to about 35.

Guru Ghasi Das Vidhwavidyalaya Chattisgarh (converted into a Central university from its state university status in 2009) has the highest faculty shortage as 65 pc of its teachers; positions are unfilled.

The University of Allahbad follows with 58 pc shortage and the prestigious University of Delhi had the third highest number of unfilled teachers’ positions at 53 pc. Aligarh Muslim University, Jamia Millia Islamia and Viswa Bharti follow at 15.3 pc; 14.5 pc and 15.7 pc shortage.

In terms of gross shortage, University of Delhi (where the cut offs soared this year to 100 pc) is currently short of 910 teachers followed by the BHU at 905.

In state universities, data was available only for 77 out of 264 such varsities. In these 77, there are 23915 sanctioned teachers’ posts; 33.3 pc are lying unfilled.

The highest shortage is in the following state universities - North Bengal (94.7 pc); Gujarat (over 70 pc); Rajasthan (69.8 pc). Among state varsities with zero vacancies are Annamalia, Kannur, National Law School Bangalore and Sri Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit.

Affiliated colleges are also severely hit with 3585 of the total 12150 sanctioned faculty positions vacant. Here, Himachal’s colleges have the highest - 33 per cent - vacancy followed by Maharashtra at 31 pc.

Painting a grim picture, the taskforce has urged the HRD Ministry to immediately order a full assessment of faculty position in India without which policy projections for the 12th Plan would be impossible. The panel was asked to report on the crunch and suggest the way forward for the 12th Plan.

The Panel pointed out that the MCI and the Pharmacy Council were unable to furnish estimates of shortage while the AICTE said the technical education sector was short of 1.5 lakh teachers (it has 1.5 lakh currently).





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