Year on year, the huge backlog of vacancies in teaching posts of Utkal University have remained a cause for concern. This time too, yet another academic session has started with no appointment being made to any of the departments.
The issue was raised at a meeting held among the varsity’s higher authorities last week.
As per the official records, of the 257 sanctioned posts, the State’s premier varsity at present has 168 teachers in-position for its 27 departments. The vacancy figure stands at 89. There are just around 78 professors, 42 lecturers and 48 readers in the university.
The varsity authorities said some of the lecturers’ posts in various departments are being managed on a contractual basis. The university has been resorting to a stopgap arrangement by roping in guest and retired lecturers to teach the students, but this has been of little help. These departments are Zoology, Psychology, Political Science, Physics, Library Science and Geography.
The situation is worse in Biotechnology department which has just one lecturer, one reader, but no professor. With vacancies reflecting on the education standard, students have taken to the streets many a time in the past.
Sources said although the vacancies are a result of transfers and retirements, the Government apparently remained silent on the issue citing financial constraints.
The last time appointments were made was in 2010 when around 76 teaching posts were filled up. Sources added that even as the university officials were hopeful of filling up the vacant posts by August, the process has been delayed reportedly due to a bureaucratic-level change in the Department of Higher Education.
Registrar of Utkal University, Debendra Nath Jena, said the Government was taking up the issue on priority. “We are very positive about the Government nod on filling up all the vacancies soon. In the recent past, we have had three meetings with the Department of Higher Education authorities who have assured us to look into the matter on a priority basis,” he said.
Jena added that the varsity authorities recently had a high-level meeting with officials of the Government and eight other universities over the issue.
The situation is equally bad in non-teaching sections with 277 posts under various categories lying vacant. These are establishment section, examination, registration and migration, engineering section, certificate, audit, billing section and private PG sections.