Almost two in every 5 faculty seats in central universities in India are lying vacant, according to numbers from the Human Resources ministry.
Out of a total of 16,542 faculty positions in India’s central universities, 6152 were lying vacant as of March end, according to a reply furnished by the ministry in response to a question by Rajya Sabha MP Shyamal Chakraborty.
Chakraborty had wondered if there was a ‘huge shortage’ of faculty in central government universities.
Central government universities are funded directly by the Centre, and comprise of some of the most prestigious in India, including the Bangalore-based Indian Institute of Science, Bombay-based Tata Institute of Social Sciences and the most well-known of all, the IITs and the IIMs.
In all, there are 40 such universities. By default, the President of India is the Chancellor of all such universities.
Teaching has gone down in the list of glamorous professions in India, largely due to the lower pay that a teacher can attract when compared to professions in the private sector.
HRD ministry said it is taking measures to attract “talent” to teaching profession.
It said it had increased the retirement age of teachers in central universities to 65 years and has allowed central universities to employ guest lecturers.
It also said that, in comparison to other government services, the pay package and promotional opportunities of teachers have been made more attractive.
It has also increased the numbers of Junior and Senior Research Fellowships from 28000 to about 38000 and the stipends paid to such fellows have been increased by about 50%.
HRD ministry has also eased the norms for disbursement of grants to scholars for presentation of research papers in international conferences and also enhanced research grants to central universities.