CHENNAI: Expressing shock that most faculty members of Anna University and constituent colleges were temporary staff on contractual basis, the Madras High Court directed it to take steps to commence recruitment immediately.
The temporary faculty welcomed the judgment and said that it may give them a fair chance at permanent recruitment. Anna University should have had 1,284 faculty members for undergraduate courses and 120 for postgraduate courses, according to guidelines stipulated by AICTE. Though the 111th Finance Committee had sanctioned 981 posts, only 556 had been filled with regular staff.
AICTE regulations require engineering colleges to maintain a faculty-student ratio of 1:15 for UG courses and 1:20 for PG courses. Justice N Anand Venkatesh, who passed the orders observed that, “It is even more shocking that teaching faculty were engaged even on an hourly basis. Fortunately, it is informed that this practice has been dispensed with.
This is not the manner in which a reputed university should be functioning.” The judge observed that the figures give a clear picture with regard to the state of affairs prevailing in the university and opined that, “It is surprising that students who come out of this university are faring well despite non-availability of sufficient faculty.” He added that either the students are extremely bright or the available faculty is performing an extraordinary task.
“The fact remains that the university will have to take immediate steps to fill the vacancies through regular appointments,” he said. Express could not reach AU registrar L Karunamoorthy for comments. MK Surappa, the V-C of Anna University, said recruitment for permanent posting has begun. “We had the same academic and administrative workload as assistant professors, but were paid only a third or fourth of their pay,” said a temporary faculty member from the main campus.
A temporary faculty from one of the constituent colleges who was terminated in June 2019 said they were recruited only for six months at a time and the management decided to terminate anyone who criticised it. “A 10-member committee conducted a 1.5-hour test and interviewed me. We were picked on merit. The court order will ensure that the varsity considers our experience while applying for permanent posting,” she said.
AU releases time table for supplementary exams
Chennai: Anna University released time table for the supplementary exams for all terminal semester candidates, which will be held from November 17 to 21. The time table can be found on https://aucoe.annauniv.edu/ttam20finalsempdf/ch.html.