It is possible to offer world-class facilities and infrastructure to the students here in India but yes there are constraints; the major of them being is the shortage of faculties. The problem of faculty shortages and large numbers of part-time faculty is no latest talk in town. This issue is being faced probably since the 1980s, with innumerable reasons be it financial, legal, technical/administrative or others. However, the condition of faculty dearth has worsened constantly with time especially since the 2000s. The numbers of institutions increased legion in the 2000s, by about 1,000 colleges each year since 2003. Certainly, many colleges close down every year, but overall, there has been a massive increase in the total number of higher education institutions. Recently, in a few surveys, it has been revealed that faculty shortages in many universities are increasing at a faster rate. Not only is this, but the number of part-time faculty in older central universities also increasing. The quality of India’s higher education is at stake as the sanctioned faculty strength which is being functioned at the central universities set up since the past decade or so is around 52%. The overall vacancies in all of them count about nearly 48% (in new central universities) and 33% (the older universities). The Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar recently stated that there are 40% vacancies in central universities and IIT’s for the faculty members. It has also been observed that to bring quality members it is essential to streamline the recruitment process. He explained that it is possible to offer world-class facilities and infrastructure to the students here in India but yes there are constraints; the major of them being is the shortage of faculties. He said that the ministry would try and make it easier for IIT’s to acquire visas for foreign faculty, hoping to narrow the gap between sanctioned and the existing strength of teachers.
TYPES OF FACULTY SHORTAGES
The very less understood fact and a concept is that there are different kinds or sources of faculty shortages. Faculty dearth can only be resolved if the reasons and the consequences are crystal clear in the minds of the people. They are classified as under:
1. Faculty shortages due to poor supply
The academic profession has been destroyed by various constraints like bureaucrats, politicians, and at times the common people. The condition is so worse that in the end, it does not stay about education and knowledge but just about getting things done quickly and giving away the degree. This certainly puts an entirely negative impact on the students and therefore they don’t opt to go into the academic and pedagogy profession; which leads to the poor supply and the cycle keeps going on.
2. Faculty shortages due to the inability of many institutions to hire new faculty
This is certainly very common amongst the government institutions. The government always claims to be out of funds when it comes to improving the quality of education; which results in the fact that these universities are unable to hire new faculties which are needed more if the old faculties retire. In addition, the salaries paid by these institutions remain below as recommended by the Sixth Pay Commission, and even then, in some states, teachers are only occasionally paid on time. Such environments lead the students to dissipate to consider teaching as a career, hence boosting to the first kind of shortage.
3. Faculty shortages due to the unwillingness of institutions to hire faculty
This kind of faculty shortage is common with private institutes. The main motive of these institutes is the maximization of profits. Private institutes mostly hire part-time faculty or ad hoc faculty in large numbers due to experimental behavior and weak recruitment process. It is a great challenge in finding well-qualified faculty in some disciplines and aspects which leads to this sort of faculty shortage.
4. Faculty shortages due to legal and related reasons
This type of faculty shortage occurs due to the legal and at times the untold reasons. At times the faculty appointments are at hold, or some strikes take place or any other issues. Universities then need time and permissions for the execution of the next steps. The process then takes more than the expected time and it lags behind while the universities wait. However, in this endless game, such legal hurdles and much more contribute a lot to the making of faculty shortages.
5. Faculty shortages due to unwillingness or reluctance of faculty
This kind of shortage occurs when the faculties are unwilling to work at a particular institute due to the institute’s location or poor infrastructure. The faculty dearth at many of the new central universities or the new IITs is because of their location. Certainly, universities in urban locations are less likely to go through such problems. Among other factors, it is easier for spouses to find work in cities than in smaller urban centers. In one of the reports cited earlier, it was stated by the vice-chancellor of a new university that, “Location of the university is a problem, which is why we have a problem in getting faculty members. Who would want to come to such a remote location with their family?” there is a great lack of employment opportunities for spouses, decent schools for children, good medical care, and attractive options for potential faculty in such remote locations. READ MORE: Let’s Say NO To POLITICS For Education System
Although in order to lower the rate of faculty dearth many things should be considered b tie a strict recruitment process or increase in the funds provided but all this needs to be started soon else there will be a complete doom of the education system. Rather, faculty positions must first be sanctioned by the state government and then the proceedings should take place. However, since the commencement of this decade this issue has grown rather fast with the following consequences.
- Faculty shortages lead to an increase in the part-time faculty which leads to no permanency of the faculties and the services suffer at large.
- It also leads to the great leniency casual outlook towards the recruitment process.
- Lack in the budgets to hire full-time faculty
- Depletion in numbers of faculty members as older ones continues to retire. Hiring ad hoc faculty who are paid poorly.
- The ad hoc faculty lose all their motivation to do the job well and at the end, it is just a matter of money.
- The services given to the students and their class and studies suffer as a whole both directly and indirectly.
- The education system slows down and then people rush towards western universities for education.
- At times, amongst the ad hoc faculty, the lesser qualified are also employed for the job that lacks appropriate knowledge and skills.
- Universities and institutes face genuine challenges because of the high demand for them in industry and services as they are suffering from faculty shortages.
Faculty shortages and growing numbers of part-time faculty are not merely old problems that have become worse over time. However, faculty shortages are no hot topic as we read about this issue nearly every few months. Prior to such news, the university officials and the government just express great dismay and make worried statements. The hiring of more faculties is obviously which is called for by the ministers and political leaders. Announcements for the new strategies to find and hire faculty is made. All the more, nothing much happens and no steps are taken in a realistic manner and the cycle of faculty shortages keeps on repeating.