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The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) are exploring a new way to attract and retain good faculty – offering jobs to the faculty members' spouses, according to their qualifications.
IIT Kanpur has recently started a Spouse Employment Cell, which has been collecting CVs of the spouses of the faculty members.
"The cell has got 30 CVs so far. Depending on what kind of jobs they want and the number of hours they can commit, we keep a track of the various job openings for them," said Manindra Agrawal, dean (faculty affairs), IIT Kanpur.
He said the cell had also approached various schools and companies for job openings.
"Some spouses of the faculty members have already been placed. One of the spouses has offered to teach Japanese language," Agrawal said.
"We are also in the process of exploring other options like appointing spouses as tutors for honing the communication skills of students. They can also be appointed as administrators for running the hostels."
The objective is to retain good faculty and utilise the on-campus experience of their spouses for the benefit of the institute, he said.
IIT Roorkee director Pradipta Banerji said, "Many of the spouses of faculty members are highly qualified. Depending on their qualification, we can give them suitable posts like that of research scientists or even faculty. In fact, we have already made some such appointments in the past six months."
IIT Ropar director MK Surappa agreed that this was a good way to retain faculty.
"We encourage faculty members' spouses to pick up suitable jobs. We already have two to three couples teaching in our institute," he said.
Similarly, IIT Patna director Anil K Bhowmick said, "We have given offers to four couples in the past. This certainly helps in preventing attrition."
IIT Guwahati director Gautam Biswas said since the IITs had no restriction on a couple teaching in the same institute, he would be happy to appoint a well-qualified spouse of a faculty member.
However, IIT Bombay director Devang Khakhar said since Mumbai was a big city, spouses of faculty members usually had no problems in finding a suitable job.
IIT Madras director Bhaskar Ramamurthy agreed. "Our faculty members' spouses do not face problems in finding suitable jobs outside campus, unlike in smaller cities."