More than 200 teachers posted in Bihar under the Central government’s Technical Educational Quality Improvement Programme (TEQIP) face an uncertain future as there is no word from the Centre or the Bihar government about regularising their jobs even as the programme’s tenure is scheduled to end on September 30.
The latest iteration of TEQIP — a joint project of the HRD Ministry and the World Bank — was implemented in Bihar in 2017 with an aim to improve the quality of technical education across the state. According to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) the Bihar government had signed with the Centre at the time, the teachers recruited for engineering colleges in Bihar would be absorbed by the state after TEQIP’s tenure ends.
In Bihar, 205 assistant professors were recruited and posted at seven engineering colleges under the scheme — Motihari College of Engineering, Muzaffarpur Institute of Technology, Bhagalpur College of Engineering, Darbhanga College of Engineering, Gaya College of Engineering, Nalanda College of Engineering and LNJP Institute of Technology, Chhapra — overall, catering to about 5,000 students.
A teacher from Motihari engineering college, said, “Bihar’s rank is the lowest in terms of technical education and it needs TEQIP to maintain a 1:15 teacher-to-student ratio, as well as the quality of education… Without TEQIP teachers, these seven colleges would be left with 142 teachers.”
Brijesh Mehrotra, additional chief secretary in the state’s science and technology department, told The Indian Express: “We have requested the Centre for an extension of the project. It is an MHRD-World Bank project and all teachers are contractual. It is entirely up to the Centre to take a call on it. The programme relates to 17 states — Bihar being one of beneficiary states.”
Asked about the state’s MoU regarding extending services of assistant professors, Mehrotra said: “We will have to see the MoU clauses. But even for contractual appointments, there are issues such as reservation policy. We are waiting for the Centre’s response.”