Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Only 4 of 10 Tamil Nadu government engineering colleges have principals

Government professional colleges in Tamil Nadu are struggling with a severe shortage of faculty. An RTI (Right to Information) application filed by The Times of India (TOI) with the Directorate of Technical Education has revealed that only four of the 10 government engineering colleges have full-time principals and 17 of the 41 government polytechnics do not have full-time principals.

According to the data, nearly half of teachers' posts in government engineering colleges and polytechnics are lying vacant. The 10 engineering colleges have just 33 professors against a sanctioned strength of 50 and have a shortage of 130 assistant professors. In the 41 polytechnics, there are just seven heads of department against a sanctioned 141, while 993 posts of lecturers are lying vacant.

All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) rules mandate a 1:15 teacher-student ratio for engineering colleges and 1:20 for polytechnics, but this is rarely followed in several government professional colleges in the state. When contacted, commissioner of technical education Kumar Jayant said steps were being taken to fill vacancies and added that it was an ongoing process.

This drastic shortage of teachers, say experts, shows in the quality of technical education. "How can you expect academic excellence from the hourly appointed faculties appointed in these colleges," asked Association of University Teachers member Dr V Balusamy. Most government professional institutions were facing a severe shortage of faculty, affecting thousands of students, he said. "For instance, Government College of Technology, Coimbatore, one of the pioneering technical institutions in the state is now grappling with severe shortage of faculties." He also pointed out that there was a marginal decrease in the number of engineering graduates taking up teaching as a profession. "Branches like civil and mechanical are the worst hit as those graduating in these fields are largely sought by industry."

Educationist S S Rajagopal said the state government was not keen on filling vacancies in government colleges. "It is more interested in distributing freebies than appointing qualified faculty in colleges. There is a dip in the number of qualified teachers in these colleges. National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM ) Regional Director K Purushothaman said the onus of filling vacancies in professional colleges was on the government. "We expect the academicians to come closer to expectations of industry by recruiting qualified, committed and passionate teachers."

Source: The Times of India, May 20, 2014

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