Faced with a shortage and decline in quality of faculty,the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry is preparing a proposal to sponsor post-doctoral studies for teachers in reputed institutes abroad.
1,500 faculty would be handpicked from institutes across India as part of the faculty development project,the proposal says. The ministry estimates the cost of sponsorship at between Rs 15 lakh and Rs 20 lakh per individual. Beneficiaries would be required to return to India to teach.
The idea is that the government invests in improving and developing the faculty base on the condition that on completion of studies,this faculty must return to India and teach in institutes here. That way not only will we be able to address the problem of faculty shortage but also bring about an academic improvement,said an official.
The government also intends to push forward in the 12th Plan its effort to set up centres of excellence for faculty development,the official added.
New IITs and IIMs,14 new central universities,NITs,model schools and Kendriya Vidyalayas were sanctioned under the UPA-I government,but there was no commensurate expansion of faculty. Out of a sanctioned 16,600 teaching posts in central universities,as many as 6,529 including those of 1,221 professors,2,105 associate professors and 3,008 assistant professors are currently vacant.
A ministry-backed task force reported a shortage of 3.8 lakh teachers in the higher education system. …This comes to over 50 per cent,which is critical. It is likely to grow to 13 lakh in the next 8 to 10 years,it said.
The University Grants Commission has repeatedly asked universities to fill vacancies. The age of superannuation of teachers has been raised to 65 to arrest dwindling numbers.