The government has directed vice-chancellors (VCs) of more than 40 central universities to fill thousands of faculty positions that have been lying vacant for over six months by the end of December, a ministry official told HT on Saturday.
Nearly 40% of over 10,000 teaching positions have been lying vacant for more than six months in central universities across India. However, some university officials say appointments have been held up for a host of reasons, including their location and problems of finding the right candidate.
“Most universities are located in remote areas where faculty members do not want to go. Then there is the difficulty of finding eligible candidates at senior positions,” said Jancy James, former VC of Kerala Central university, which has 110 vacant positions, of the total 140 sanctioned posts.
HT spoke to a number of VCs, who confirmed the move to fill the vacancies was underway.
“The ministry recently communicated to us the urgency of forming the panel of experts that will undertake the selection process.
We have already kicked off the process and are hopeful of filling the vacancies by December,” said TV Kattimani, VC of Indira Gandhi National Tribal University in Madhya Pradesh. The university has 228 sanctioned faculty positions of which 172 are lying vacant.The VC said the ministry also pledged its support in finalising the visitor’s nominee — the President of India’s nominee — which is one of the reasons why appointments have been held up for so long.
The President’s office sometimes takes time to nominate its member to the selection panel, which also includes two members from the university’s executive council and a subject expert. A delay in finalising the visitor’s nominee often delays the whole process of selection.
Some VCs said that while the ministry could help with the formation of the selection panel, it will also have to turn its attention to other problems, like finding the right candidate and someone willing to work in remote areas, if it wanted to fill all vacancies.
“We have identified some of the causes for the delay and hope the ministry helps us in resolving the problems if it wants the vacant positions to be filled,” said a VC, who did not wish to be identified.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) recently wrote to all the universities to identify the causes for vacancies and make efforts to fill them as per UGC norms.