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Video Producer: Maaz Hasan
Hired in 2018 under central government’s Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme (TEQIP-III), 1,554 assistant professors working in over 70 colleges across the country are on the verge of becoming jobless as our contract expires on 31 March 2021.
In 2017, the Government of India signed a contract with the World Bank to support the project designed for enhancing the quality of engineering education in existing institutions, with special consideration for low-income and special category states.
Graduates from IITs, NITs, and other centrally-funded technical institutes were hired under TEQIP-III with this objective. The target was rural India situated in focussed states.
Initially, the idea was project-based recruitment and the central government subsequently asked participating states/UTs to prepare a “sustainability plan” to retain these assistant professors after 3 years in a permanent capacity.
The Project Implementation Plan (PIP) states that “well-performing faculty hired using project funds will be retained post-project, or else unchanged.”
However, three years later, as the project comes to an end, there are no signs of the faculty members being absorbed, as per the MoU between the centre and states.
"“Application has been sent by the NPIU (National Project Implementation Unit) to the institutes for absorption and retention of these faculties several times, but nothing came out. Neither the state government is taking any initiative nor the institutes are taking any initiative.”" - Moniya, Asst Prof, SMVDU, J&K
With our termination, the students we teach will also suffer.
"“Jorhat Engineering College received a funding of around Rs 1 crore with the help of which we not only did research and publish papers but also procured equipment. Who will use the equipment we procured after we leave? If we leave, the condition of the colleges is going to degrade and students would be the ones who would suffer the most.”" - Sanjeev Vishwakarma, Asst Prof, Jorhat Engg College, Assam
Given this uncertainty, we are under tremendous mental stress. We are not just 1,554 faculty but 1,554 families. We have given our 100 percent in our project and the government needs to think about us.
(The Quint has reached out Ministry of Education and NPIU. Their response would be added when received.)
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