The country’s top most auditor has criticised Gujarat government for the severe shortage to teaching staff that currently exists in the government engineering and polytechnic colleges that impart technical education. Some of these vacancies for principals and professors are as high as 90 percent says the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) about the state of higher education in a state that prides itself for opening a record number of universities in the last decade.
The education department provides technical education through 16 Government Engineering Colleges (GECs) and 30 Government Polytechnics (GPs). The GECs offer 37 degree engineering course to almost 9000 students, while the DPs offer 26 Diploma Engineering courses to over 20,000 students in Gujarat, states CAG in a recent report tabled in the Gujarat Assembly recently.
Of the 279 sanctioned strength for professors in GECs, over 252 positions (90 percent) are lying vacant. Similarly, in place of 559 associate professors, over 55 percent (307 positions) are vacant. Similar are the vacancy levels for Principals (81 percent), Laboratory Assistants (71 percent) and Instructors (33 percent).
The condition of Government Polytechnics is no better. The vacancy levels for Principals (85 percent), Head of Departments (74 percent), Laboratory Assistants (69 percent) and Instructors (58 percent) are all on a higher side.
“Adequate human resources are most important for imparting knowledge in any institute and their shortage would adversely affect quality of education and the purpose of creation of physical infrastructure at the institutes would be defeated,” stated CAG in a serious indignation of the currently status of the state-run institutes of higher learning.
CAG also pointed some of the lacuna’s that exist in individual institutes. “The Chemical Engineering Department in SB Polytechnic Institute, Bhavnagar was approved (2009-10) by AICTE with an intake capacity of 60 students.
Audit observed that there was no classroom, laboratory building and equipment for the course in the institute. The principal stated that the
students were taught about the working of equipment of the subject theoretically and the practical examinations were conducted orally.
Thus, the students were deprived of practical knowledge of use of equipment,” the auditor stated.
The report also mentioned another instance of the plastic engineering department of Government Polytechnic, in the tribal town of Chotta Udaepur, where “courses were being taken through web-based learning and industrial visits.” Rejecting the way the students were taught, CAG stated, “Web-based learning cannot replace class room teaching and practical sessions.”
“Grants released for purchase of machinery and equipment were not adequately utilised….Software was purchased though there was no demand or requirement. Instances, of equipment lying ideal due to non-availability of trained staff were also noticed,” it added.