IITs facing severe faculty crunch

The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) are facing severe faculty crunch. There are almost 33 percent of faculty vacancies in 15 IITs across the country. There are only 3,148 faculty members as oppose to the sanctioned strength of 4,712.

The older IITs located in Kharagpur, Delhi, Bombay, Kanpur, Madras, Guwahati and Roorkee have 29 percent vacancies while the new IITs located in Bhubaneswar, Patna, Gandhinagar, Hyderabad, Ropar, Jodhpur, Mandi and Indore, the figure is as high as 58 per cent.

The teacher-student ratio at the institutes — where nearly 40,000 students are pursuing BTech and MTech courses — stands at 1:13 against the norm of 1:10. Such a discrepancy reflects that teachers are overloaded with work which has also affected the research.

“As there are not enough teachers, the existing group has to take extra load. They are devoting more time to teaching as a result of which research remains neglected,” a senior faculty member at IIT Delhi said.

Although seven old IITs brought out 27,123 research papers in the past three years but only 23 international patents have been granted to them for the technologies they have developed. Now, the premier technology institutions have started scouting for well experienced NRIs and foreign faculty to meet the demand back home.

“The IIT Council has allowed recruitment of foreign faculty up to 10 per cent of the total strength (each institute). Our teachers are in touch with their friends in foreign universities to see if any of them want to join us,” said IIT Madras director M.S. Ananth, whose institute is planning to put job ads in international journals.

Although, the main hurdle in getting foreign faculty to teach in IITs is ‘The Citizenship Act’ that  allows only Indian citizens to take up a permanent job in public institutions of the country.

“The only problem is that at present, foreign citizens are not allowed to take any permanent job in any public institution in India. The Citizenship Act says that only Indian citizen can take up permanent jobs in public institutions. This act will have to be amended also,” said Gautam Baruah, Director, IIT Guwahati.

HRD ministry sources said they were consulting the home ministry to see if the amendments could be made.

Recently, some of the IITs have decided to send copies of job ads to Indian Embassies and High Commissions abroad. The Indian missions have been requested to facilitate the issue of visas to foreign teachers keen on IITs.

[Source: The Telegraph]

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23 thoughts on “IITs facing severe faculty crunch”

  1. If the current trend continues, then the situation will become worse in future. I feel, a long term vision is required here to solve this issue. Well structured programs should be run by IITs to train the willing individuals up to their mark. There should be a national program which should take care of identifying and then grooming the right potential candidate is the need of the hour.

    Problem of people not motivated towards academics is that they find it less rewarding in all terms. So strategies and examples should be presented to the budding generation which make them enthusiastic and optimistic about pursuing the academic career.

    Govt Incentives given to —> Top academicians —-> impart/train to other teachers —> train/encourage students —–> students become motivated —-> start towards becoming top academicians.

    It is a long process, but it has to start now if we want the glory of great teachers of this country to live.

  2. I dont think there is anything wrong by offering temporary positions to professors from abroad. that is how most of reputed institutions at abroad runs and operates. We should start in fact point system incentive methodology could be adapted and IIT directors should allow to appoint temp staff with transparent policy of point/garde faculty positions can be permantly filled. Even NIT faculties are not performing. many many private college faculties are performing n times better than IIT and NIT faculties…Hon Minister HRD has to take a call on this issue before inviting foriegn instn in India.

  3. I am ready to join one position as a professor (Linguistics/English), if this news is update. I have been teaching in the US for ten yrs after doing my MA, MPhil, PhD from JNU, New Delhi.
    Lakhan Gusain
    Johns Hopkins University
    Washington, DC

  4. I got an offer from IIT G in 2007. Due to some family reasons I joined in one NIT.Two years later when I wanted to apply in the same department, one of the professor said me that they would not entertain me anymore since their offer was refused by me.I did not expect such basis of rejection from an IIT.
    In an another case one of the professor in IITD suggested me to gather experience from a foreign university to be considered in IITD.However, the professor has no such education or experince from any foreign university.This gave me a diffent message.
    This seems IIT really do not have any faculty shortage.
    or else they are not really interested to fill up.

  5. In my opinion this ‘faculty crunch’ is being artificially created. It’s unbelievable that India does not have teachers and scientists competent enough to teach in premier Institutes of India. These IITs,IISERs & IISc can have global search committee but at same time should look for equally competent Indian talents who are serious in serving his/her country and recruit them. Instead of being obsessed with ‘foreign tag’,recruit such Indian candidates who can identify problems of our country and show case in International Meets. By amending ‘citizenship act’ will only deprive opportunities for Indians to work in premier Insts.

  6. One reason is the assumption that if a person is not a post doc from abroad, he can not be a faculty in IIT. It is one of the remanant love for people stamped with foreign mark. Another thing is that the selection are not so fare on a digger scale if we see, it is the adjustment of the students of those people who are involved in selection procedure. If IIT’s are looking for really good teachers, they are in plenty but if they are looking on hyped researchers from forign labs or elite labs of India then the shorfall will always be there.

  7. As Govt. of India failed to provide jobs to all deserving indian Citizen in last 60 years, instead of introspect their failure they are inviting foreign faculties in public institutes for permanent job. This seems to be a hidden agenda of HRD ministry to remove reservation from all academic institutions either by privatising it or providing jobs to foreign professionals regardless giving the oppertunity to Indian professionals to show their talent. It seems the Govt of India is more worried about US rate of unemployment rather than India.

  8. I donot think there is a fculty shortage in in IIT. They are making a propagnda to recruit their forein friends. There are many personnel who are performing excellent who are Ph.D from Indian Universties.

  9. Monarchs who ruled a few centuries ago thought they had blue blood and they were born to rule. Now nobody gives two hoots to any monarch today – at least in this country. IITs, IISc, IIMs, and NITs are fast joining a similar league because of their exclusivity and fat public funding.

    A good example is Prof. Ananth of IIT-Madras and NPTEL he heads. He, probably, did not see the public comments to the videos of NPTEL on the YouTube! The NPTEL cost MHRD 20 crores of public money in 2003.

    This country routinely produces movie blockbusters. But, did Prof. Ananth involve any talent from this huge talent pool available in the commercial movie field to make these NTPEL videos attractive to the students? A resounding no! So, what do we get out of NPTEL? We get boring lectures of one hour duration produced by incompetent people from IITs, IIITs, etc. when the country is full of excellent talent to make such videos rich and interesting to the target audience! The same applies for the so-called shortage of faculty in these institutions. When old holy cows like Prof. Ananth move out of IITs, IISc, IIMs, NITs, etc. there will be a change in mindset and automatically a renaissance. At best these institutions will fade away like the monarchs when other institutions with more inclusive mindset come up.

    It is a shame that the institutions that have been set up to increase the quantity of technical man-power themselves are crying about shortage in a country of 1.1 billion people. That too after forty years of existence!

  10. Majority of present IIT faculty were produced at RECs (Now NITs), Central Universities, State Engg Colleges and University. New institutes simply caused mass migration from NITs to IITs, State Colleges to NITs, Polytechnics to State Colleges, and ITIs to Polytechnics. Mediocrity gets new lease of life and sustenance and respectability. Story of IITs is a demand led story and not Supply side story. M Techs and Ph Ds produced at these Institutions of National Importance are simply not as great. Competition like Telecom will bring their status to BSNL / Air India which are simply bleeding. Investment of public money to the same quantum by any other structure would have created more returns and laurels. Simply count number of graduate of other Institutes at IITs as faculty and one can infer returns these under funded institutions have given to the country.

  11. The IIT recruitment commitees have some hidden agenda – they are not interested in recruiting good teachers with PhDs from IITs unless they have some foreign stamp (either PhD or Post-Doctoral Research) from some foreign university. The recruitment committees, which include all heads of departments and directors, have no idea how a good teacher with above-mentioned qualifications can improve the quality of engineering graduates in India – they also have no idea how to identify a good teacher (as they are bad teachers themselves), so they want to see only publications irrespective of their quality.

    May God Bless our poor motherland sabotaged by corrupt IIT Directors.

  12. It is tricky and cheating type of clever comments paisted by readers on this text. Let me tell you both side of story. I have started my career from third rated institute, then gone to second level, then top level in US and now back to India at IIT. At third level system like state colleges, truly hardly there is any faculty whom we can call even genuinely good. Among a mass of 70-80 teachers only 2-3 are good class room performers from well known books. They are teaching same thing since joining of their services. That too their research aptitude is zero. They can introduce any challenges visualize in thier area. Now come to second level, here number of good faculty is also less but they are slightly more clever. Some of them publish 7-8 articles in ordinary to medium journals and boast that as if now they are the originator of that area. tendency of such faculty members are always to compare them with IIT or IIM faculty. Neither they are good researchers nor they are good teachers but they create hollow pride as if they are second to none. Some or known as Toophani teachers because they are very good in teaching from a old book and while teaching same thing 30times most of the formula are fully memorised by them. Thus one gets impression that he is Like Kabirdas type Bidwan. None of teacher in second and third rung institute or colleges stay in campus beyond office ours. For them 8hrs time is too much for teacher. If you see most of these teachers load (actual) is less than 7-8 hrs per week.
    In IITs too there are around 30% Toofani teachers but they are more clever than 2nd rung faculty members. However, without any bias let me say from experience that 70% teachers in IITs are truly very hardworking and they are good in teaching and research. Average discussion level among them is far ahead of that of second rung institutes. They mix book and research material while taking their classes. This makes them more confident than others. In general they pass more than 8-10 hrs time in the Deppt and they are visible not hidden. Also IIT millieu is less complex and things are moving more smoothly than other system. Because of this one get more time to some good work and level of politics is not low in IIT.
    Most of directors of IIT they go abroad to have better interation with other system and encourage scholars who are willing to comeback to IIT. This gives at least some results and also help the direcotrs to see different country and enjoy good hospitalities.
    Foreign Universities are diffeerent ball game. Their things more revolve around funding. Funding brings scholar then papers and then again funding etc.