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Autonomy not yet to IIT, IIM

The finance ministry has rejected a long-standing demand of the IITs and the IIMs seeking freedom from government interference in creating faculty posts.

business Updated: Aug 11, 2010 23:22 IST
Charu Sudan Kasturi

The finance ministry has rejected a long-standing demand of the IITs and the IIMs seeking freedom from government interference in creating faculty posts. This comes as a setback to Kapil Sibal’s plans to increase their autonomy.

India’s top engineering and management schools will continue to need government sanction to create faculty posts, the finance ministry has said, top government sources told HT.

Sibal’s HRD ministry had proposed the IITs, IIMs and other top technical education institutions be allowed to create teaching posts on their own, while keeping the ratio of

teaching to non-teaching posts intact.

The HRD minister has on occasions over the past year said he wants to increasingly grant autonomy to the IITs and the IIMs. Sibal has even asked each IIT and IIM to prepare a blueprint for the same.

This proposal was aimed at freeing up some of the country’s best higher educational institutions to create faculty jobs based on their needs at a time rather than on bureaucratic norms.

The proposal was seen as critical because of the Foreign Education Providers Bill, that will allow foreign varsities to enter India.

Freeing up creation of faculty jobs at the IITs and IIMs would have helped them compete better with foreign universities that enjoy this freedom.

The IITs and the IIMs have on occasions lost out on hiring renowned experts in a department because of no vacancies at the appropriate post.

The problem is particularly acute, IIT and IIM officials complain, because of the massive faculty shortage they face.

The percentage of vacancies in teaching posts varies from 15 per cent to 40 per cent across the IITs and the IIMs.

The National Institutes of Technology (NITs), which were to be also covered under the HRD ministry proposal, also face a huge faculty shortage.

“In this scenario, if we have a top-notch academic interested in joining us, but we cannot because of no vacant professor posts, it hurts. If the finance ministry has rejected the HRD ministry proposal, our hurt is set to continue,” an IIT Director said, requesting anonymity.