BENGALURU: There is much to be desired in the state universities when it comes to the number of senior teaching staff. Close to 45 per cent of teaching posts in the cadre of assistant professor to professor posts across these universities are vacant. Experts say this has had an impact on the quality of higher education.
Karnataka has 17 state universities that come under the Education Department.
According to Higher Education Minister Basavaraj Rayareddy, there are 3,524 approved posts for assistant professors, associate professors and professors. But of these 1,561 are vacant, which is about 44.3 per cent. Also, colleges do not have full-time lecturers and make up for it with guest faculty.
According to sources from the Department of Collegiate Education, with no full-fledged teachers, many science colleges across the state are shutting down, while the admission rates in arts colleges have come down by 30 per cent. An official source said, “The state government had announced to give free laptops, bus passes and other facilities. Instead of providing these facilities, steps should be taken to appoint experienced teachers.”
The Lokayukta recently registered a suo motu case against the Department of Collegiate Education after a section of the media reported that 390 of the 412 government first grade colleges are working without full-time principals. A senior official said, “Principals are of professor cadre. Associate professors with even three years of experience have not been promoted to the post of principal since 2009. This matter is pending before the finance department. Many have retired without becoming professors even though they had the experience.”
Sridhar (name changed) has been working as an associate professor for the past 10 years and his promotion has been due since 2011. “Should I retire as an assistant professor even after serving for more than 30 years in this profession?’’ he asked.
Incidentally, despite the vacant posts, many professors are deputed to other departments. Rayareddy explained that as per the University Grants Commission, Karnataka State Universities Act, a professor can be posted as a vice-chancellor, registrar or any other administrative post in a university. Some of them even get deputed as directors for non-university departments such as Karnataka Backward Classes Commission. “Once their term gets over, they will be sent back to their parent university,’’ Rayareddy explained while responding to a question in the state legislative council on Friday.
Former vice-chancellor of BU Dr M S Thimmappa said, “International projects and projects entrusted by the UGC are given to senior academicians. If the posts of professors are vacant, it also means that research activities in that university will suffer.”
What they get
B45,000 to B90,000
(0- 14 years) B90,000 to B1.2 lakh
( 14- 17) More than B1.2 lakh
(More than 17 years)
* To join as assistant professor, one should
clear UGC stipulations like NET and PhD.