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The government's attempt to bolster professional education institutes has turned a cropper, with the new Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISERs) hit by an acute shortage of faculty and are still functioning from temporary campuses. A parliamentary panel report has asked the HRD ministry to ensure that these gaps are met so that the premium institutes can function more effectively. The standing committee on HRD has expressed concern over the shortage of faculty that is as high as 60% in some IITs.
The sanctioned posts in the new IITs are about 90, but none of the new institutes have been able to fill up their posts. While IIT-Hyderabad had the support of 74 faculty members, institutes in Patna (55), Bhubaneswar (50), Indore (38) and Mandi (35) had below-par strength. IIT-Jodhpur was worst off, with only 32 members in its faculty. "The committee is of the view that only qualified and experienced faculty can make the functioning of any institution, especially premier institutions like IIT meaningful and effective," the report said. It also expressed concern over the running of new IITs from temporary campuses despite being set up between 2008 and 2010. In the case of new IITs, either the location of the permanent campus was being finalized or land allotted or construction work was to start. In the case of IITs in Bhubaneswar and Mandi, for instance, the foundation stones were laid in February, 2009, but they continued to function from temporary campuses. The report said that it was clear that it would take some time before IITs begin to function from "well-structured and well-equipped campuses." Five IISERs (in Pune, Kolkata, Mohali, Bhopal and Thiruvanthapuram) also continue to function from temporary campuses. Pulling up the ministry, the parliamentary panel said that "These institutions were envisaged to carry out research in frontier areas of science and to provide quality science education at undergraduate and postgraduate level." IISERs are expected to have state-of-the-art buildings, fully equipped labs and rich library but these facilities are still not available for students. The report noted 10 new NITs also suffered similar fate, with four functioning out of their respective mentor NITs and six running from temporary campuses. The committee also observed that several legislations related to higher education continued to be delayed.
Courtesy: Times of India
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