Even as the faculty of technology and engineering of the MS University prepares to celebrate 125 years of its establishment within the premises of the Kalabhavan, a historic building that once served as a temporary residence of Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III and now houses the various departments, members of the university’s prestigious faculty have raised concerns regarding shortage of teachers.
Severe shortage of teaching staff coupled with vacant posts of the head of several departments have not just affected regular teaching, but also research activities and proper functioning of the centres of excellence that are being run with funds from private companies and government.
The faculty has received crores of rupees in funds to run its various centres of excellence, including Rs 125 crore for a centre being run by the mechanical department with the support of the state government, Siemens India, and Pune-based DesignTech Systems.
Out of a required faculty strength of 340, as many as 121 posts are vacant, with several departments working without a professor which affects post-graduate teaching. The post of the head of the department (HoD) in metallurgy, applied physics, applied mechanics, and electrical engineering departments has been vacant for several years. The faculty does not even have a regular dean.
“For a number of times we pressed for appointments to the statutory positions of the HoDs and faculty dean but the last V-C (Yogesh Singh) did not fill the HoD positions which have been vacant for four-five years, which has led to demoralisation of junior teachers as it deprives them of their right to become the HoD,” said faculty member K V R Murthy, who heads the Technology Teachers Forum, a union of faculty teachers.
Teaching activity at the faculty has been affected. While classes are being taken and examinations conducted, teachers have said no to checking answer sheets and allotting marks. “There are teachers eligible for a third promotion, but are not getting it, probably because of internal politics. A majority of teachers are getting affected due to this,” Murthy said.
The university in-charge registrar Amit Dholakia said that there was at present no proposal regarding the appointment of teachers and HoDs. “The decision may be taken after the appointment of the new V-C,” he said. The faculty has four centres of excellence, each being run at mechanical engineering, advanced computing, industrial mathematics, and applied physics departments. The textile engineering was recently granted Rs 4 crore to function as an anchor institute to create infrastructure to train industrial manpower. The state government had allocated Rs 16 crore in the last Budget for the makeover of the historical Kalabhavan building as part of its 125 years celebrations. This includes Rs 10-crore fund for setting up a centre of excellence in advanced
The faculty was started as Kalabhavan Technical Institute in 1890. It was later integrated within the faculty of technology and engineering under the MSU.
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