24,000 posts of teachers vacant across Punjab

Hoshiarpur, Sept. 26 -- Punjab has a shortfall of 23,557 teachers, the ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) has stated in a written reply to the questions raised by Member of Parliament Avinash Rai Khanna in Parliament.

The ministry presented a report said that as many as 6,542 posts are lying vacant in central universities, 1487 in NITs and 1,611 in IITs.

Nationwide, one lakh posts of faculty are lying vacant. Central and state universities are facing a staff crunch of 40-50%.

The minister of state E Ahmed said that 12,59,478 posts of the teaching staff under the Sarv Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) and other state-run educational institutions were vacant. The scenario is most critical in Uttar Pardesh and Bihar, which face a shortage of 3,12,222 and 2,62,351 teachers, respectively.

On the steps being taken to deal with staff shortage, the minister said that that the retirement age of faculty members in higher education institutions had been raised from 65 to 70 years.

He added that the University Grants Commission (UGC) had launched 'Operation Faculty Recharge' to augment research and teaching resources of the universities in science departments.

The programme envisages to catch PhDs and bring them back into research to make them potential candidates for teaching. They can then be placed with university departments and be absorbed as faculty. The new inductees will be selected through a nationally conducted competitive process and placed as lecturers, readers and professors.

The minister added that the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) had allowed B Tech candidates to be appointed as pro-term lecturers for a maximum of three years in technical institutions provided they obtain Master degrees during this time.

In response to the concern raised by Khanna separately on worldwide poor ranking of Indian universities, the ministry said that there was no single international agency for global ranking and different ranking systems used different values, indices and parameters, which were neither universally accepted nor recognized. Some of the criteria were totally irrelevant to Indian education system and hence the ranking done on their basis could not constitute the basis for benchmarking our institutions, the reply said.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.