With shortage of teachers in higher education institutions being over 50 %, a HRD ministry committee has suggested a new scheme providing financial incentives to students in colleges and universities to join as faculty after completion of their education.
A scheme called Academic Career Assistantship Program to provide financial assistance to students and ensure employment in an academic institution after graduation should be introduced, said the committee headed by Sanjay Dande, Director of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur.
The ministry had constituted the committee in 2009 to gauge the amount of teacher shortage and recommend remedial measures. “The present shortage of 3.8 lakh teachers of faculty members in the higher education comes to over 50 % which is critical…it is likely to grow to 13 lakhs in the next eight to 10 years,” the committee said.
The major reasons for faculty shortfall was massive expansion of higher education, poor supply of qualified teachers, ban on recruitment by most institutions, lack of flexibility and absence of quality consciousness among a large number of applications.
To overcome some of these challenges, the committee had recommended a scheme to attract faculty at a young age of 20-21 as in case of military and medical practice.
After graduation, a person should be selected by an academic institution as prospective faculty and by another as post-graduate student. “This selection will provide the student the status of a faculty in-waiting and will provide financial support of Rs 5,400 per month,” the committee has suggested.
Instead of normal two year course, the student will be registered for a three year post graduate course. At end of the course, the student will be provided with a regular master’s degree as well as post graduate diploma in higher education. For this diploma, the student will have to work as a teaching assistant and will have to attend some courses on teaching methods and philosophy.
During the course period, the student will be required to clear the National Legibility Test (NET) so that he or she is qualified for appointment as faculty.
In case of students doing masters, the committee has suggested that they can join the doctoral programme for a period of four years. During this period, for the first year they should be provided with the financial support of Rs 5,400. From second year, they should get financial support of Rs 6,000 per month. At end of four years, they will receive post graduate diploma in higher education and a doctoral degree in their main subject.
After completion of their course, they will join the academic institution which had selected them at the beginning of the academic programme. “It is hoped that over a long period of 10-15 years, this scheme will start the impact both in terms of quantity as well as quality,” the committee observed.
The financial implication of the scheme is expected to be Rs 50 crore per annum.
The committee has also recommended slew of other reforms including allowing foreign faculty to bridge the meet the growing demand of teachers.