NEW DELHI: The centre is set to introduce a policy to regularly re-hire teachers in Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) to address the issue of faculty shortage.
At present, service extension is given to IIT teachers beyond the retirement age of 65 only in exceptional cases with special permission of the President, visitor to the IITs, and the practice is very rare.
Official sources in the higher and technical education division of the Union ministry of human resources development told The New Indian Express that adopting the new rule will lead to re-absorption of teachers in the same IITs.
“While the retirement age of IIT directors is 70 years, it is 5 year lesser for other faculty members and the practice of giving them extension is very rare,” said a senior official.
“For example, in last three years it has happened only in two cases. However, we want more of these teachers to continue teaching as getting quality teachers for these prestigious institutions has been a challenge.”
Under the proposal, the permission for the extension of services will continue to be routed through the ministry to the President but it will happen more regularly.
IITs, like many other centrally funded technical institutes have been struggling with the issue of faculty shortage for a long time. Vacancy in some IITs are as high as more than 50 per cent, sources pointed out.
A parliamentary panel on HRD, in a report submitted in the House in November 2016, had said that among the older IITs, Bombay had a vacancy of 38.66 per cent; Kharagpur of 42.42 per cent; Roorkee of 41.88 per cent; Delhi of 33.11 per cent; Guwahati of 26.50 per cent and IIT-BHU of 53 per cent.
The numbers were not different for newer IIT as getting quality teachers to institute at far off places has been a constant issue for the government.
Some at IITs however felt that greater emphasis should be given at tapping young talents to get into academic careers at IITs.
“The idea of having most of the teachers in the late 60s at country’s premier technology institutions does not excite me as teaching requires certain energy and aptitude; the government should teaching more lucrative at entry level so that fresh PhDs from India and abroad are attracted (to teach at IITs),” said an assistant professor at IIT Mandi.