Monday, October 04, 2010

New IITs hit by teacher shortage

Three years after seven new IITs got off the ground, they have hit a stumbling block, that of being unable to attract enough faculty. Each new tech school ought to have had 90 teachers by now, the number of positions sanctioned by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), but none of them has managed to reach full capacity. Worse, most of the new colleges have not even filled up a third of the teaching positions. Young bright Ph.D. fellows looking at teaching opportunities have, naturally, preferred to join the more established institutes over the latter entrants. IIT heads say there has been a lukewarm response from the experienced lot of teachers from the domestic private colleges wanting to shift to a centre of excellence.

Moreover, while the new IITs are still operating out of temporary campuses, the situation is worse for the ones that are to come up in Gujarat and in Rajasthan, where state governments have failed to yet zero in on a site for the campuses. A recent reality check conducted by the MHRD revealed that most of the IITs, except two, had set 2011-12 as a deadline to move to the permanent campus. Sources in IIT-Gandhinagar said the government was not very clear on the land allotment issue and the permanent campus would come up only two years after the state handed over the site where the college could come up.

"We must now concentrate on hiring some good faculty," said a senior faculty from IIT, Mandi. Among the seven new institutes, IIT, Hyderabad has been the top choice for teachers. Director U.B. Desai accounts this to the institutes location. "Hyderabad is a place many people want to come to. Its no loger a Tier-II city. Also, we have placed a lot of emphasis on faculty recruitment. We have recruited some dynamic youngsters, one faculty has joined at the professor level and he is heading the civil engineering department," said Desai.

Although small in numbers, almost all the faculty in the new IITs are fresh young Ph.D. fellows, looking at the centres of excellence as springboards for their teaching career.

Source: The Times of India, October 4, 2010
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