Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 11:
Shortage of teachers has serious affected studies in the elite central institutes like IIT, AIIMS, NISER and Institute of Physics in Odisha.
The situation is more or less the same in almost all institutes. IIT-Bhubaneswar has 71 vacant positions out of 171 sanctioned permanent positions; Institute of Physics has 13 vacant positions out of 30, the Central University in Koraput has 36 positions vacant out of 54, NIT-Rourkela has 95 vacancies out of 370 and AIIMS-Bhubaneswar has 254 vacancies out of 320 positions. The situation is the most worrisome in NISER, which has as many as 200 of the 260 sanctioned permanent positions vacant.
Increase in retirement age limit and hike in remunerations have not helped. In some cases, the institutes are finding it tough to get deserving candidates. In others, the candidates don’t accept the job offers made by these institutes. The problem gets worse as the students passing out from these institutes prefer not to choose teaching as their profession.
“We have 30 approved positions out of which 13 are vacant. We had offered six positions to deserving candidates, out of which only three accepted the offers. While two of them haven’t responded yet, one has declined the offer. We would have to restart the hiring process all over again. Lack of good scientists to guide the students is delaying the process. Also, the retirement age is 60 years for us, whereas is it is 65 years in many other central institutes. This is driving away candidates from us,” said Director of Institute of Physics Sudhakar Panda.
IIT- Bhubaneswar also faces the heat due to lack of professors. It can’t attract quality talent even though the retirement age is 65 years and professors are recruited on a package that is 30% higher than in neighbouring states. The IITs should have a recommended student-teacher ratio of 10:1. While there are 925 seats in the institutes, there are 170 recommended positions. However, only 99 have been filled up yet, forcing existing professors to take extra classes to manage the syllabus.
Same is the case with Central University. Five years after inauguration, there is not a single professor out of its nine approved positions. While 17 out of 18 approved associate professor positions are lying vacant, 10 out of 27 assistant professors are vacant affecting the study cycle severely in the institute.