Faculty shortage: IITs to go on a global hunt

August 14th, 2008 - 4:11 pm ICT by IANS  

By Prashant K. Nanda
New Delhi, Aug 14 (IANS) The 13 Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) battling a severe faculty crunch are set to go on a global hunt to appoint “quality young teachers”. “Faculty crunch is a real problem, and all the IITs are worried about it. We will soon go on a global hunt to get fresh young quality teachers,” IIT Kanpur Director Sanjay Dhande told IANS.

“In the next four-five years, we will need some 3,000 more professors. We will go to international institutes across the world to fill this gap,” he added.

All the seven old IITs are facing a shortage of teaching staff between 15 to 25 percent. At IIT Delhi, against a sanctioned strength of 556 faculties, the elite engineering institute has just 448 teachers for a student strength of 5,300.

The situation in IIT Roorkee and Guwahati are even more grim. With six new IITs opening this year as part of the government’s plan to boost the country’s higher education, the faculty crunch is going to aggravate further.

“There are around 50,000 people involved in higher research in top engineering and technology institutes of the world. And we just need 3,000 young talented minds,” said Dhande, who was in Delhi this week.

IIT Roorkee Director S.C. Saxena said that these faculties could be non-resident Indians or foreigners.

“We will go by quality as IITs are known for it. There will be no compromise on that,” Saxena added.

IIT Madras director M.S. Ananth said there was a need for a comprehensive review of the necessity.

“It’s a matter of fact that there is a shortage of quality teachers. But while looking for global talent, we will not sideline the quality teachers in India,” Ananth said.

“While doing so the key point to be kept in mind is that the IITs’ brand equity should not be diluted,” he added.

Elaborating on the faculty situation, IIT Delhi director Surendra Prasad said his institute had already instituted young faculty fellowship to attract “young minds”.

Directors and top officials of all the IITs were here for a joint admission board meeting.

Six new IITs were launched during this academic session in addition to the seven already existing at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kharagpur, Kanpur, Roorkee and Guwahati. The six new IITs are at Gandhinagar, Patna, Bhubaneswar, Punjab, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh.

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