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Shortage of faculty across IITs: 42% in Kharagpur, Roorkee, 39% in Bombay

Among the older IITs, Bombay had a vacancy of 38.66 per cent, Kharagpur of 42.42 per cent, Roorkee of 41.88 per cent, Delhi of 33.11 per cent, Guwahati of 26.50 per cent and IIT-BHU of 53.39 per cent.

Written by Mihika Basu | Mumbai | Updated: November 13, 2015 9:35 am
India IIT, IIT in India, IIT faculty, IIT faculty posts, IIT Jodhpur, IIT BHU, RTI, Indian Express Experts said the IITs have been taking various initiatives to attract outstanding candidates for faculty posts.

The IITs are struggling to fill up faculty posts, with vacancies in 2014-15 ranging from 10 per cent in IIT-Mandi to over 50 per cent in IIT-Jodhpur and IIT-BHU (Banaras Hindu University), replies to an RTI query by The Indian Express have revealed.

Among the older IITs, Bombay had a vacancy of 38.66 per cent, Kharagpur of 42.42 per cent, Roorkee of 41.88 per cent, Delhi of 33.11 per cent, Guwahati of 26.50 per cent and IIT-BHU of 53.39 per cent.

While some of the RTI replies said the vacancy is estimated from the 10:1 student:faculty ratio followed at IITs, one said there is no concept of sanctioned post of faculty members and it is based on students’ strength.

“Filling up vacant posts is a long process and cannot be done overnight,” said a former IIT director. “None of the IITs wants to compromise with quality. Further, good people have options in international universities and industry. In certain disciplines, there are not enough qualified people from among whom we can hire.”

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Experts said the IITs have been taking various initiatives to attract outstanding candidates for faculty posts. Some of these measures include year-round open advertisements, young faculty awards and inviting alumni, scientists and faculty to reach out to potential candidates.

“Vacant faculty positions are true of institutions globally, and not just in India,” said Dr Deepak B Phatak, professor at IIT-Bombay that has 595 faculty members against a sanctioned 970. “While we are reasonably placed, the newer IITs are facing challenges, which is a natural process for every new institution that is trying to build and establish itself. Also, the number of people interested in academics and those who are going for PhDs is on the rise. While we would like more faculty members as these are sanctioned posts, faculty selection and appointment is an extremely rigorous process and given IIT-Bombay’s position, where top performers are trying to get in, the process does take some time.”

“Each department at IIT-Bombay has a search committee and we recruit only those with a PhD, with three years of experience and those who have a perspective,” said Dr Rangan Banerjee, another professor at IIT-Bombay. “So while the number of applications is large, many don’t meet the minimum quality or lack in perspective or rigour. Also, not enough people opt for research. We are clear we won’t lower our standards. A long-term solution is to have more PhD students.”

Among the newer IITs too, the vacancies were huge. It was 56.67 per cent in IIT-Jodhpur, 21.11 per cent in Patna, 14.44 per cent in Indore, 20 per cent in Hyderabad, and 10.18 per cent in Gandhinagar.

“This year, IIT-Delhi and IISc-Bangalore made their debut in the Quacquarelli Symonds list of top 200 universities globally. However, IITs usually don’t make the cut as they lose out majorly to the weightage given to parameters like international faculty, student-faculty ratio and international students,” said a member of the IIT-Bombay faculty. “While we are doing reasonably well in research and development in terms of impact and citation factors, there is scope for improvement. From where you publish your research paper is also important and there are very few quality Indian journals.”

Prof Gautam Barua, former IIT Guwahati director, said that at the PG level, even if an IIT tries to attract foreign students, it is difficult because the Indian government currently does not support scholarships for foreign students. “Further, it’s again tough to get international faculty with our current pay-scales,” Barua said.

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  1. O
    Observer
    Nov 15, 2015 at 8:49 am
    The narrative applies in a few other employment spheres also. How one wishes someone from the company factory side had also the courage to tell the visiting Parliamentary Committee Members:” “Filling up vacant posts is a long process and cannot be done overnight,.None of us wants to compromise with quality. Further, good people have other options elsewhere in the industry. . In certain disciplines, there are not enough qualified competent acceptable people from among whom we can hire”. Jumbo size parliamentary committees (PC) keep on visiting many PSU/Govt.factories, installations, units etc putting sharp searching questions about continuing vacancies in sc, st, obc categories in difft.depts and why these vacancies still continue. Hardly anyone from the Management side, for obvious reasons, gives them the correct essment of the situation and also hardly is some plain speaking done about the quality, competence level of these candidates,. Instead some definite urance about timeframe for filling up vacancies would be hurriedly given to these visiting PC members and thereafter eligibility standards would be relaxed further to make substandard recruitments in the concerned departments with very adverse effects on minimal productivity levels from them, over & above existing unsatisfactory performance experience from big groups of persons already engaged from these categories. Quota promotions for them also become a fait accompli irrespective.of their actual performance/productivity levels.. Majority of these visiting PCs members also belong to the above categories. These visiting PC members have to be given AC accommodation in five star costly hotels, besides arranging five star breakfast, lunches, dinners etc. over and above lining up a fleet of AC buses, cars, vehicles etc. Many costly non-veg dishes also would be part of the sumptuous menus for them.. Total expenses for the host PSU/govt. factory for one such visit come to several lakhs of Rs.These PC members have also very rarely raised the question either in parliament or in the visiting factories conference rooms why thousands of crores of Rs. are being wasted regularly through supplies daily at very dirt cheap rates costly variety of tiffin items, non-veg. lunches, non-veg.dinners etc.. Big Factory Managements want.just all okay chits from the Head of such visiting PCs whatever the cost.to the company..
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    1. K
      K.Suresh
      Nov 13, 2015 at 11:51 am
      Blame it on the hasty expansion of IITs and student intake by Arjun Singh as HRD minister.
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