Rajasthan seeks teachers for govt colleges but without pay
The Rajasthan higher education department is inviting teachers to teach in government colleges free, according to a government circular that spotlights faculty crunch and lack of funds.
Rajasthan has 252 government colleges with a sanctioned faculty cadre strength of 6000, of which 2300 posts are vacant. Apart from teachers, posts of 223 principals too are vacant, according to official data.
The government recently announced setting up of 50 new colleges, of which 37 were started in this academic session, taking the total to 289 in the state.
The higher education department has issued the circular inviting applications from teachers and research scholars who fulfil the UGC regulations. It has also invited applications from subject specialists to conduct free workshops and special teaching classes so as to give a fillip to research work in government colleges.
The circular signed by Pradeep Borad, commissioner, higher education, states that those selected will not be given remuneration nor travel allowance. It says the applications are being invited on voluntary basis in the spirit of public participation.
The circular dated August 16 says applications can be made by professors, vice principals, lecturers who are serving in or retired from any state-aided university, college or research institution, or by doctoral or post-doctoral research fellows in state-aided universities.
The selected faculty will be allowed to choose their college and will have to take lectures of one hour to three hours duration.
Borad said, “We received 30 applications from teachers. But only five were found eligible as they fulfilled the UGC norms. These teachers will be soon be assigned colleges.”
He said the department has also prepared e-content for various subjects that students can watch online.
Borad denied that the department’s proposal was necessitated due to the faculty or funds crunch. “We are doing this to motivate people to share their knowledge and contribute to the society.”
The circular says enrolment of students in about 300 government colleges is increasing every year and, consequently, the faculty strength is reducing. It is necessary to make alternative arrangements so that students studying in government colleges do not suffer due to the faculty crunch.
Rajasthan University and College Teachers Association (National) NL Gupta said the circular was a mockery of chief minister Ashok Gehlot and Congress’ promises.
“Congress came to power promising doles and jobs to youth. The chief minister also announced that the government would not employ retired employees. But the department circular is contrary to that,” he said. “If they are going by UGC regulations, then UGC mandates Rs 1500 per lecture,” he added.
“Teachers are required in backward areas, such as Barmer, Jaisalmer, Baran, Banswara, Dungarpur, Dholpur, Karauli. How many applications has the department received for these areas? Jaipur and other bigger cities are already overstaffed.”
Gupta said lack of funds is hampering the appointment of faculty. “The government is not able to fill vacancies, nor is it sanctioning any new posts in existing colleges. Despite this they have new colleges. Where will they get resources for new faculty appointments and college infrastructure?” he asked.
Universities and colleges in Rajasthan are plagued by problems, such as shortage of teaching and non-teaching staff, lack of resources, lack of infrastructure, and poor quality of education and large-scale absenteeism, said educationists.
The dire situation of higher education can be judged from the fact that no government university or college from Rajasthan features in the country’s top 100 institutions as ranked by the Ministry of Human Resource Development in the National Institutional Ranking Framework.
Regarding recruitment of teachers, Borad said the department has started the process of filling up 1700 vacancies. He said a requisition has been sent to the Rajasthan Public Services Commission for recruitment for 850 teachers.
Borad said the department is also planning to make some changes in the regulations for appointment of principals so that appointments can be made soon.