The recruitment process for nearly 100 full-time faculty positions at Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) has stalled again due to lack of clarity on the Maratha reservation scheme that was announced by the state government in July.
According to the reservation scheme, members of the Maratha community will get 13 per cent reservation in jobs and 12 per cent reservation in seats at the time of college admissions.
In a notification issued at the start of this academic year, the University Grants Commission (UGC) had asked all universities in the country to start procedure to recruit faculty and fill up all vacant positions. The UGC has set a deadline of one year within which all universities need to complete the recruitment process against available vacant positions. The move came after it was noted that recruitment at many universities had not taken place for several years, while some universities had last inducted faculty nearly a decade ago.
The vacancies in faculty positions was cited as one of the reasons for the dwindling quality of education at higher education institutions. With more vacant seats emerging every year due to natural superannuation of faculty, universities have been forced to run courses with the help of visiting faculty or temporary faculty recruited from time to time, mostly for a duration of 12 months.
“The reservation scheme is still unclear, due to which we are unable to take up recruitment as of now,” said Nitin Karmalkar, vice-chancellor, SPPU.
At least seven departments of SPPU have serious shortage in full-time faculty. These departments include physics (20), chemistry (20), statistics (12), Pali (9), zoology (8), foreign languages (8) and philosophy (7). Notably, 20 departments at the university have no full-time department heads as this charge is either held by a senior-most faculty member as an additional charge or head of the department from an affiliate college holds temporary charge.
The departments of English, philosophy, Buddhist Studies Centre and environment sciences are some of the departments which are managing academic coursework without a full-time department head.
In all, there are 386 faculty positions at SPPU of which 178 posts are vacant. The SPPU departments have 208 full-time faculty who are running courses with the support of faculty recruited on ad hoc basis.
Among the 178 vacant positions, the highest numbers of vacancies are that of professors (48), followed by associate professors (70) and assistant professors (59).
Presently, 35 in-charge positions of various seniority levels are being handled by senior faculty as additional charge.