In less than 2 yrs, 278 industry experts hired as college professors | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

In less than 2 yrs, 278 industry experts hired as college professors

Apr 18, 2024 08:02 AM IST

Survey by the University Grants Commission found 278 professionals hired as professors of practice in various disciplines to bridge academia-industry gap in Indian higher education.

New Delhi:

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India’s higher education institutions have employed 278 professionals and experts as professors of practice (PoP) in disciplines such as engineering and technology, heath sciences, marketing, business and hotel management, among others, a survey by the University Grants Commission has found.

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The higher education regulator launched the PoP scheme in September 2022, under which higher education institutions were allowed to hire professionals and experts to teach students on a contractual basis to bridge the gap between academia and industry.

To understand the reach of the initiative, the commission last month conducted a survey among its 136 affiliated deemed universities. The top disciplines where the maximum appointments have taken place are engineering and technology (87), health sciences (48), marketing, business, hotel management (19), tribal studies (14 ), biotechnology, microbiology, biochemistry (12), leadership, HR, entrepreneurship and innovation (11).

The remaining appointments cover a wider range of disciplines including pharma, law, agriculture, education, liberal arts, humanities and social sciences, journalism and communication, artificial intelligence and international studies, even specialized disciplines such as sports, networking and dairy sciences, the commission said.

The trend in hiring reflects the increasing demand for industry aligned engineering education, commission chairperson M Jagadesh Kumar said. “Professors of practice can provide invaluable guidance on emerging technologies, industry trends, and practical problem-solving skills to students. They can also bring their wide network of industry professionals that may help students with employment opportunities.They can also bring their wide network of industry professionals that may help students with employment opportunities,” he said.

The states with highest engagements of such professors in surveyed universities were Tamil Nadu (93), Odisha (48), Maharashtra (35), Haryana (32), and Karantana (29).

“While the top five states have a higher concentration , the remaining states and union territories also demonstrate positive movement,” Kumar said. Union territories and states including Delhi (15), Andhra Pradesh (10), Rajasthan (9), Telangana (6) and Punjab (5) have also initiated the PoP appointments, he added.

Some universities have even appointed tribal figures as professors of practice to impart knowledge on tribal rights and heritage, ingenious tribal knowledge, and tribal language and culture. Odisha’s Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology, a deemed university, has engaged Sambari Sisha, a craftswoman from the Bonda tribe.

“She is renowned for her skill in creating traditional ornaments for Bonda women. She uses a special kind of thread prepared out of a plant extract to string the coloured beads into a necklace. Among other things, the colourful and alluring necklaces also serve as the markers of the ethnic identity of Bonda women,” the university said on its website.

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    Fareeha Iftikhar is a Special Correspondent with the national political bureau of the Hindustan Times. She tracks the education ministry, and covers the beat at the national level for the newspaper. She also writes on issues related to gender, human rights and different policy matters.

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