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31% teaching posts vacant at IITs: Govt data

According to data presented by HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, of the 8,856 teaching posts across 23 IITs, 6,043 are filled, while 2,813 are vacant. Of the 7,413 teaching posts at 31 NITs, 4,202 are filled, while 3,211 are lying vacant.

WT24 Desk

Premier educational institutions such as Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and National Institutes of Technology (NITs) are witnessing a severe shortage of teachers with more than 31% and 43% teaching posts lying vacant, respectively, data from the Union human resource development (HRD) ministry revealed, The Hindustan Times reports.

The matter was recently raised at the Lok Sabha to find out the measures being taken by the institutes to tackle the same. According to data presented by HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, of the 8,856 teaching posts across 23 IITs, 6,043 are filled, while 2,813 are vacant. Of the 7,413 teaching posts at 31 NITs, 4,202 are filled, while 3,211 are lying vacant.

Pokhriyal said the institutes should conduct special recruitment drives and publish advertisements regularly to fill up vacant faculty and non-faculty posts. “Occurrence of vacancies and filling them up is a continuous process. The onus of filling up these posts lies with IITs and NITs, which are autonomous bodies. They have been requested to take steps to ensure that the vacancies are filled up at the earliest,” the minister said.

Even though the pace of hiring faculty staff has been slow, the intake capacity of IITs has risen by more than 4,000 seats in the past two years owing to the introduction of supernumerary seats to accommodate more women candidates and students from the economically weaker sections (EWS). While experts said most of the vacant teaching positions are at the newer IITs, a right to information (RTI) reply in 2018 had revealed that the top eight IITs — including IIT-Kharagpur, IIT-Delhi, IIT-Bombay, IIT-Kanpur and IIT-Madras — were also struggling to fill up vacancies.

Experts said one of the reasons for the large number of vacancies is the difficulty to find candidates with the right qualifications. “It’s getting more difficult to find a candidate with the right qualifications and work experience, as we don’t want to compromise the quality of education. Almost all IITs are working to find the best candidate for vacant posts and the numbers will look better,” said Amit Prashant, director (in-charge), IIT-Gandhinagar. He said several applications were in the pipeline and the hiring process would take place over the next few months.A senior faculty member, part of the hiring process at IIT-B, said, “Faculty interviews are on in full swing. We continuously strive to replace existing teachers with better ones so students don’t suffer.”

During the discussion, MPs had also suggested that the government appoint students who complete their PhD or MTech from leading institutes, including IITs, to fill up the vacancies. However, the government said that no such provisions exist currently.

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