Teacher shortage hits India's premier tech colleges

Teacher shortage hits Indias premier tech colleges

Teacher shortage hits India\'s premier tech colleges, Lack of quality teaching staff is hitting India\'s showpiece Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) hard.

Lack of quality teaching staff is hitting India's showpiece Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) hard.

Teacher shortage hits India's premier tech colleges

A number of well-qualified teachers are refraining from joining the premier institutes, with senior officials blaming unsatisfactory pay packages. Teachers' unwillingness to join the IITs has led to a shortage of around 41 per cent in the faculty. According to norms set by the Human Resource Development Ministry, IITs must have a teacher-student ratio of 1:10, but the current ratio is 1:17. A document - student and faculty position in IITs - has revealed that of the 5,887 sanctioned faculty positions, 3,478 are unfilled in old IITs at eight locations across the country.

Thus, across the old campuses, there is an approximate 41 per cent shortage of teachers. A senior official of the ministry acknowledged that student intake has risen by over 50 per cent since 2006, in the wake of the 27 percent quota for OBCs and an expansion in seats, widening the gap between the number of students and teachers.

The teacher-student ratio among the old IITs is the worst at IITBHU, at 1:22. The total number of IITs is 16, with eight institutes having opened in the past few years.

The data also revealed that the new IITs are in a better position in terms of student to faculty ratio. In half of the new institutes, the ratio fulfills the criteria of 10:1.

Speaking about the issue, Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani recently told Parliament that “the reasons for faculty shortage at these institutes are retirement, resignation, increase in students' intake and non-availability of qualified candidates for taking up teaching assignments.” Explaining further, a senior official said salary is the main issue.

“Being government institutes, salary of the teachers can't be equal to that prevailing in the industry. You need to spend years even after B.Tech and you would get about Rs 70,000 a month.

“And an IIT graduate gets this salary when he starts his career. Due to this, not many B.Tech students like to study further and get into research to finally become teachers at a salary which they can get right after graduation,” he said.

An assistant professor at the entry level in an IIT will earn anything between Rs 7.5 lakh and Rs 8 lakh a year. That is the average salary of students graduating from the IITs, with the highest salary package even touching Rs 50 lakh per annum.

The official said the older IITs generally have been picking up 35-40 new teachers annually. But the student strength has risen rapidly because of the OBC quota and the PhD numbers had also gone up.

“Even at this ratio, teaching quality is the best. The IITs have started offering various incentives to attract the best teachers,” the official said. Similar situations occur at the four IIITs too. While the sanctioned strength of faculty is 253, only 162 teachers teach around 4,776 students. IIIT-Allahabad is in the worst position; around 55 per cent of teaching posts are vacant and the student-teacher ratio is 46:1 there.

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