Universities in Telangana grapple with severe faculty shortage

1 month ago

Ou 1

Hyderabad: Universities in the State are grappling with a critical shortage of regular faculty members – vacancies being more than double the number of working staff.

This dearth of teaching staff, particularly professors, has the university colleges struggling to meet regular teaching work, research, and funding issues from various central funding agencies.

The academic affairs in 11 universities present a grim picture. Out of 2,825 teaching posts sanctioned in these universities, there are 1,977 vacancies, which is more than double the number of working staff i.e., 873. While there are a total of 1,267 sanctioned posts in 53 departments of Osmania University, close to 900 teaching staff positions are vacant. At Kakatiya University, 86 teachers work against a sanctioned strength of 409 faculty in 27 departments.

A dearth of professor-level teaching staff has hit several departments in these universities. Almost 12 to 13 departments including Ancient Indian History, Culture and Archaeology, Journalism and Mass Communication, and Psychology at Osmania University have been operating without a single professor.

Univ

While some departments are run with regular assistant professors and associate professors besides contractual staff and guest teachers, a few departments such as Archaeology, French, and German are only run by the academic consultants employed on a contractual basis. Also, nearly 10 departments of Kakatiya University have no professors.”The university sees at least 20 to 25 professors’ superannuation annually.

Due to lack of recruitment, the workload on existing teachers has gone up manifold. It is also affecting the research work,” said Prof B Manohar, president, OU Teachers Association.

To tide over the academic crisis, the previous BRS government had permitted recruitment to fill 1,061 vacancies with 415 posts alone in OU. However, the recruitment did not materialise due to a reservation case in the Supreme Court. The issue was resolved after the Central government passed an ordinance that mandated the university as a unit rather than a department for reservations in teaching positions.

Also, the previous government had passed the Telangana Universities Common Recruitment Board Bill, 2022 which could not see the light of day as Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan referred the Bill to the President of India, which is still pending.

Asst professors on contract seek regularisation

The Telangana Universities Assistant Professors (Contract) Association demanded that the Congress government fulfill its promise of regularising assistant professors working on a contractual basis. “The then Congress leaders and now Ministers Bhatti Vikramaka and Sridhar Babu had raised the issue of regularisation in the Assembly but are mum now,” said Dharma Teja, president, Telangana Universities Assistant Professors (Contract) Association.

There are nearly 1,400 assistant professors who have been working in 12 universities on a contract basis for several years. On the lines of contract degree, junior and polytechnic lecturers who were regularised, the assistant professors wanted their regularisation as well. “The regularisation of assistant professors on a contractual basis is needed to strengthen universities, which have a huge number of vacancies,” said Dr Ch Parandamulu, spokesperson for the association.