According to the HRD ministry, of the 39,822 sanctioned posts across IITs, NITs, IIMs, IISERs, IIITs, central universities and other institutes funded by the Centre, 14,372 (or 36.1%) are vacant.
The vacancies are caused by retirement, resignation and due to demands brought on by increased student strength, according to the ministry. A director of one of the institutions said: “Compared to the first 50 years, the number of these institutions have more than doubled in the past two decades. However, there has not been a matching growth in our PhDs. The institutions do not always get the promised funds.”
Data specific to IITs, NITs, IIMs and IISERs shows that of the 20,122 sanctioned faculty posts, 7,683 (or 38%) are vacant, while it is 34% for central universities, IIITs, NITTRs (National Institute of Technical Teachers Training and Research) and other centrally-funded institutions together.
TV Mohandas Pai, chairman, Board of Manipal Global, says: “The primary problem is that of money. The Centre must seriously consider Anil Kakodkar committee recommendations. Despite knowing in advance retirement dates and timeline of expansion, there is no proper planning. The Centre must reimagine the way institutions function and revisit the rigid norms that set faculty-student ratios.”
While IIMs have the highest percentage of vacant posts (74%), they need to collectively fill up only 934 positions. Comparatively, IITs together need to fill up 3,876 positions, while it is 2,736 for NITs. The IISERs, with 137 vacant positions, are the best among the elite institutions have just 10.6% shortage.
Prof S Sadagopan, director, IIIT-B, said: “Hiring, growing and retaining faculty is a challenge for every institution in the world. It is no different at MIT or Harvard as high-quality people are in short supply. That said, institutions deliberately don’t aim to fill up 100% posts as there needs to be room to infuse young blood periodically and have positions for the best when they are available.”
The central universities need to collectively fill up 6,210 posts. Further, of the 58,138 sanctioned non-teaching posts across these institutions and universities, nearly 13,101 are vacant.