Lack of teachers ails engg colleges

Quality takes a backseat with 35 per cent shortage of lecturers in L D College of Engineering and 60 per cent in technical institutes across the state

Dilip Patel and Yogesh Avasthi
Posted On Saturday, March 17, 2012 at 02:33:44 AM
Vacancy for various posts in polytechnic colleges of the state rose from 37 per cent in 2002 to 84 per cent in 2011
The growing shortage of teaching staff at engineering and polytechnic colleges in city and state has reached alarming proportions. While the number of vacancies in L D College of Engineering has reached 35 per cent, the figure crossed 60 per cent in state, a far cry from the standards of All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). 
Those closely associated with these institutes mentioned that lack of incentives, delay in promotions and avoidable red-tapism was forcing an increasing number of faculty members to join private institutes.  

Figures only substantiate these claims. Nearly 50 per cent of these colleges and technical institutes all over the state are either headless or have no full time principals. As many as 53 posts of principals are lying vacant in these institutes. Overall, 1,227 posts in government engineering colleges in the state are yet to be filled up. 

The widening gap can be gauged from the growing trend of vacancies for various posts in polytechnic colleges of the state, where the number rose from 37 per cent in 2002 to 84 per cent in 2011. In case of lecturers, the number rose from 41 in 2002,  to 69 per cent in 2011.

Flawed policy responsible“Government’s promotion policy is flawed. Even after having the requisite experience and qualification for the post of principal, several members of teaching staff are functioning as lecturers in engineering colleges. On the other hand, far better incentives are being given to their counterparts in private professional institutes,” said State Technical Teacher Association President M M Lunagaria. 

Agreeing with him, other representatives of teaching staff in these institutes suggested that the government should take immediate measures for promotions and other incentives to them. 

“Presently, even for reading a research paper or giving any representation outside the institute, one needs to take permission from the technical education department and follow a cumbersome procedure. Many a time the professors have to face humiliation at the hands of babus, which needs to be done away with,” said a faculty member

Staff crunch at LD
The issue of shortage of staff also came up for discussion during the ongoing Assembly Session. Responding to a query, about vacant posts at L D College, Education Minister Ramanlal Vohra said, against 204 posts of professors and lecturers, 65 posts were still vacant at the institute. That makes the vacant posts at about 35 per cent. 

Hope sustains 
Meanwhile, L D Engineering Principal M N Patel when contacted admitted that shortage of teaching staff in the college was having a bearing on the quality of education. “But we have requested the state government to fill up the posts at the earliest and hope to have more teaching staff shortly,” he said. 

Revealing figures 
There are 16 engineering colleges and 26 polytechnic colleges in Gujarat and the total number of students at Gujarat Technical university stands at 3.5 lakh.