HYDERABAD: The Indian Institutes of Technology, the country’s top tech institution, are facing problems of plenty regarding hiring of teaching staff. The IITs are now looking at different ways to attract good teachers, and one of them is recruiting the from reputed institutions abroad. The older IITs will be conducting recruitment drives in the United States as well as Europe, and hopes to have the faculty in place by the time the new academic year commences.
As there may not be much awareness about job opportunities for foreign professors, the IITs have decided to hold road shows and campaigns abroad. According to IIT Delhi director Prof V. Ramgopal Rao, a team from IIT Delhi will be scouting for foreign faculty in summer. “The cost of living in India is less compared to the West. Besides salary, the foreign teachers would be provided accommodation and other perks. They can also work as consultants for research organisations in addition to their academic duties. We are still working on all these aspects to attract the best teaching talent from abroad,” he said. IIT Hyderabad director Prof. U.B. Desai told this newspaper that they were still drawing up plans of hiring of foreign faculty.
Rapid expansion caused shortage:
The rapid expansion in the number of IITs in the last decade has had its impact on staff numbers. The 23 IITs put together have nearly 35 per cent vacancies. IIT-Kharagpur is the worst hit with 47 per cent of the posts vacant, while at IIT-Hyderabad it is 16 per cent. Former Osmania University vice-chancellor Prof. T. Tirupathi Rao said, “IITs should take up continuous and regular drives to attract the best talent in the country and abroad.”
Enhancing the number of IITs has led to this situation, according to an expert. If quantity goes on increasing the quality will be diluted. It could affect the reputation of these institutions, he said. Prof. Sanjeev Sanghi, professor in applied mechanics from IIT-Delhi, said that IITs do get a lot of application for teaching jobs, but they are selective. “Besides a Ph.D, the candidate should have exceptional record and research publications,” he said. There is a shortfall of teachers but the situation is not grave, he said. Each year nearly 10 professors attain the age of superannuation in most of the IITs.