India’s 23 Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) have a shortage of teachers which stands for around 34% except IIT-Mandi in Himachal Pradesh.
The problem is not only in new IITs such as Palakkad, Tirupati and Goa, but also in older ones like Mumbai, Kharagpur and Kanpur where the shortage varies between 25% and 45%.
Education expert AS Seetharamu said: “Earlier, about 15% of IIT graduates would come back as faculty, but this percentage is dropping. Now, up to 50% of graduates go abroad to find work, while most of the remaining enter software and information technology companies in India.”
With the increase in number of IITs and NITs, faculty is needed to increase. “However, there has been no subsequent rise in the number of people eligible and available for these positions,” Seetharamu said, adding this gap can be plugged by increasing competitiveness of salaries and encouraging graduates to take up doctoral studies as PhDs are required of prospective faculty.
Experts said that in new IITs like in Dharwad, which has a 47% shortage, the challenges are of attracting teachers to stay and teach in smaller towns. “Just putting up an educational institute isn’t enough. Faculty members have families and they weigh options like availability of schools for their children, access to healthcare and other factors,” an expert explained.