NEW DELHI - The central government July 21 said 36.5 percent and 40.8 percent of teaching positions were vacant in the country's 16 IITs and 30 NITs, respectively. "There are 36.5 percent and 40.8 percent vacancy in teaching positions in 16 IITs (Indian Institutes of Technology) and 30 NITs (National Institutes of Technology) respectively," Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani said.
"The reasons for faculty shortage are due to retirement, resignation, increase in students' intake and non-availability of qualified candidates for taking up teaching assignments," the minister said in the Rajya Sabha. She said the institutes have been taking various initiatives to "attract outstanding candidates for faculty positions". "Some of these measures include year-round open advertisements, holding of selection committee meetings through video conferencing, invitation to alumni, scientists and faculty to reach out to potential candidates, advertisements in international journals, outstanding young faculty awards," she said. She added that as regards NITs, the institutions are engaging contract and adjunct staff as well as using the online mode of teaching to overcome these shortages. "Moreover, faculty in NITs has now been given pay parity with faculty in IITs with a view to attract quality faculty," she said. She said that with a view to make it possible for foreign faculty to join the institutes, the ministry of home affairs has "reduced the salary limit for employment visa to foreign faculty from $25,000 to $14,000". (IANS)