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]