Hyderabad: While Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had recently asked the University Grants Commission to urgently look into the faculty shortage in varsities, the faculty crunch in Osmania University, the state’s oldest university set up in 1918, has assumed alarming proportion.
The varsity’s psychology department has been functioning with a single professor, who will retire by the end of this month.
Similarly, there are several other departments in the varsity that are running with “single digit” professors.
If this situation continues, the university will become a “zero-professor varsity” by its centenary year in 2018. Around 40 professors retire every year and there is no ongoing rec-ruitment to fill the posts.
The university is currently operating with contract staff, who do not possess the minimum required qualifications of PhD or NET, seriously impacting the quality of education and research on the campus.
The psychology department had 11 professors at one point in time, which has now come down to one. The lone professor, Beena, is set to retire on January 31. The psychology department will then become a “zero-professor department”.
The department of nutrition already holds the dubious distinction of being a “zero-professor department”.
The other departments working with “single digit professors” include geophysics (four against the sanctioned posts of 24), geology (nine against 21 posts), sociology (six against 16 posts), public administration (nine against 20 posts, ancient Indian history, culture and archaeology (one against 20 posts), Hindi (four against 16 posts), education (eight against 20 posts), biomedical engineering (six against 18 posts), astronomy (five against 14 posts) and statistics (eight against 17 posts).
The situation has worsened to such an extent that out of 146 sanctioned professors’ posts, only five are regular appointments, out of 502 associate professors’ posts, only eight are regular while out of 575 assistant professors’ posts, 178 are regular.
“Running a university without professors is like running a hospital without doctors. There is no use of having huge buildings and infrastructure facilities without having qualified faculty. The university is in a financial crisis and because of this, it has stopped recruitment of regular professors. OU has to pay a salary of nearly Rs 1.05 lakh per month for a professor and Rs 85,000 for an associate professor. To avoid this, it is settling for contract staff who are paid only Rs 21,000. Many of the contract employees lack basic qualifications of PhD or NET,” said Prof. B. Satyanarayana, president, OU Teachers’ Association.
The university, meanwhile, puts the blame on the state government. “We got a block grant of just Rs 171 crore this year, which is hardly enough to pay salaries and pensions for the existing staff. We cannot afford to recruit professors with this amount,” said Prof S. Satyanarayana, Vice-Chancellor, OU....