Issue of High Vacancies in Higher Educational Institutions

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Synopsis – According to the Education Ministry’s committee, there is a high rate of Vacancies for faculty positions in Central institutions for higher education. State-sponsored preparatory programmes are essential to fill vacancies.

  • The government provides reservations for faculty positions to the weaker sections under the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers’ Cadre) Act, 2019.
  • But, According to the data shared by the Education Ministry, more than half of the faculty vacancies reserved for SCs, STs, and OBCs in Central institutions of higher education are vacant.
  • The situation is particularly worse in the elite Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs). Here more than 60% of SC and OBC reserved positions are unfilled, while nearly 80% of ST reserved positions remain unfilled.
  • If we include Central Universities, IISERs, IIT (non-faculty), IGNOU, and Sanskrit Central Universities then the vacancies are about 38% to 52%.

This data highlights a serious mismatch between the government’s reservation goals and actual recruitment outcomes.

What are the recommendations made by an official committee?
  • Exemption from a reservation in faculty hiring – The official committee suggested exempting IITs, IIMs from the reservation for SC, ST, OBC and Economically Weaker Sections.
  • Vacancies to be de-reserve if no suitable candidates are found within a year– If vacancies for appropriate candidates from SC/ST/OBC/EWS applicants are not filled during a year, the vacancies may be de-reserved for the next year.

However, these recommendations are viewed as undermining the government’s goal of social equity through the reservation. The government needs to understand the education system’s shortcoming.

State-sponsored Preparatory programmes to fulfil various issues:

According to the Education Ministry’s committee, the failure for filling the reserved positions is due to a lack of qualified applicants. The issue can be resolved by-

  • State-sponsored Preparatory programmes(prepare faculties for their interviews) to meet the IITs and IIMs standards. These preparatory programmes have the following advantages,
      • The programme will increase the pool of aspiring candidates from the reserved sections.
      • Further, this will also create research faculties among the reserved sections.
      • These preparatory programmes could help to overcome the quality deficiencies in faculty preparation.
      • Make higher education institutions(HEIs) more socially responsive, thus achieving the objective of ending historical caste-based discrimination.
Way forward
  • Apart from state-sponsored preparatory programmes, the government must increase the funding for education at all levels. This will support the vulnerable sections on their way towards equality.

Source- The Hindu

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