HYDERABAD: A year since All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) increased the student-faculty ratio from 15:1 to 20:1, thousands of teaching staff in private engineering continue to lose their jobs or face pay cut. Nearly 8,000 teachers have either lost their jobs or had to take up jobs with a massive pay cut in the State -- nearly 70 per cent of them are from around 70 engineering colleges in the city.
The ordeal of the teachers is far from over. Most senior level teachers had to take 30-40 per cent pay cut to stay employed post the revamped AICTE guidelines. P Laxman, assistant prof with a city engineering college, said his pay shrunk from `27,000 to `18,000 and no reasons were given. Those who could not compromise, quit and ended up being unemployed, he said.
“Already the salary being given to teachers was below the AICTE prescribed norms. By increasing the student faculty ratio, AICTE has given college managements a chance to incur more profits. Instead of 15:1 several colleges are now even implementing 25:1 or 30: 1 ratio. This has led to lay offs of nearly 25 per cent of faculty,” Laxman said.
Calling it as the “worst thing to have happened to teachers of technical education,’’ he said that the changed SFR has pitted freshers with teachers with 20 years of experience resulting in frustration and resentment among them. “Qualification and experience have replaced numbers and money. Instead of hiring experienced faculty and paying them more, colleges are preferring to take MTech graduates for a paltry sum of Rs 12,000-Rs16,000. Colleges also hoodwink the regulatory body by not uploading the qualification of the faculty,” said another professor on the condition of anonymity.
He reveals that his college credits the salary as per the AICTE norms but later asks the teachers to take only a third of the amount and return the remaining amount. “This is how they turn Rs 4-6 cr black money into white annually,” he added.
Pay cut, fear of layoff, irregular disbursal of salaries have had a telling impact on teaching faculty not just in the city or Telangana but across the country in the last year.
“If the AICTE and MHRD still do not bring back the ratio to 1:15 and implement strict measures to monitor the colleges, it will be disastrous for technical education. They have failed to acknowledge the poor results and the hardships being faced by the teaching community,” said KM Karthik, founder of All India Private Colleges Employees Union. He has also filed an RTI to find the number of faculty rendered jobless because of the ruling.