'Faculty crunch in higher educational institutions'

Task force recommends removal of administrative cobwebs

It has also noted that administrative hindrances and delays are a major impediment in creating a healthy strength of faculty. The task force on “Faculty shortage and design of performance and appraisal system” has suggested that efforts should be made to bring in a system that ensures smooth process of induction and promotion of faculty cadre.

It also recommended that every academic institute should have an independent faculty recruitment and development cell to be headed by a senior faculty who will report to the head of the institution.

In its report submitted to Union Human Resource Minister Kapil Sibal, the task force strongly felt that all administrative “cobwebs” should be removed so as to ensure smooth process of induction and promotion of faculty cadre.

The task force, headed by IIT-Kanpur director S G Dhande, has also recommended that inappropriate arrangements for hiring the service of guest faculty and faculty on contract should be stopped.

“The Task Force has suggested a suitable regime of hiring the services of such personnel, if necessary, by an institution,” a ministry official said.

It also suggested induction of young men and women in the academic profession, while they are pursing their academic career, stressing that measures of appreciation such as honours and awards should be offered to those faculty members whose services are outstanding.

An “appropriate” additional financial compensation should be made available for those faculty members who are carrying out research work besides their normal teaching load. It proposed for creation of a performance appraisal template. Different aspects to be taken into account for performance appraisal are generic in nature and should be used for evaluation of the faculty performance and deciding about their career progression.

It estimated that, besides the present shortage of three lakh faculties, the shortage during the coming decade is going to increase at the rate of one lakh faculty a year.

“This clearly needs massive mobilisation of resources and a policy framework to ensure that the growing higher education system maintains the quality standards as expected in the society,” the task force suggested. It also recommended establishment of a standing mechanism for collection of data and its analysis on a continuous basis.

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