Hyderabad: Universities find themselves in a peculiar situation with most professors set to retire in the next couple of years and nobody to fill their shoes.
Among the faculty, the senior members after professors are the assistant professors. The professors are seeking extension of service so that a void in teaching posts can be avoided. The TS government is learnt to be studying the issue.
Osmania and Kakatiya universities are the two major varsities, apart from JNTU Hyderabad. A majority of the faculty requirement is in the major varsities.
Most of the hiring was done in 1989, and then, after a long gap, in 2007, though there were some recruitments in 1991 and 1997.
As per rules, it takes an assistant professor 15 years to be promoted to professor. A person has to have 10 years of teaching experience and a PhD to be recruited directly as professor.
But the government, in the past, had made it a point not to hire professors directly and recruited only assistant professors.
“Those who were hired in 1989 will retire in 2017, 2018 and 2019 as per their age. Those who were recruited in 2007 will become professors only by 2023. So varsities will have few professors,” said Battu Satyanarayana, president, OU Teachers’ Association.
About two decades back, the policy was different with every Vice-Chancellor making it a point to recruit in his tenure so that continuity could be maintained at all levels.
“There was also a change in the reservation policy. The earlier one was a broad-based policy, but it became rigid after that. So even if you want to recruit, you can’t find candidates,” a dean of OU said. He wanted the government to take a policy decision on the issue.
The government is yet to take a view of this situation though teachers are asking it to raise the age of superannuation to 65, in accordance with University Grants Commission rules.