Dearth of women teachers in colleges: Survey

Dearth of women teachers in colleges: Survey
Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Smriti Irani has instructed her officials to make “special efforts” to increase the number of women teachers in colleges and universities after a government survey found substantially low representation of women in teaching posts, compared to men.

A provisional report on the annual survey, conducted by a special unit of the HRD Ministry in collaboration with University Grants Commission and All India Council for Technical Education for 2014-15, was released by the HRD minister here on Monday.

“There is need to increase the number of women teachers. I have requested Higher Education Secretary (Vinay Sheel Oberoi) to make special efforts to increase the number of women teachers,” Irani said.

The all-India survey on higher education recorded merely 64 female teachers per 100 male teachers in 2014-15. Out of a total 14,18,389 teachers, 61 per cent were men while the percentage of women faculty was a low 39.

The report indicated a slight increase in the number of enrolment of students in the country’s higher educational institutions, pegging the gross enrolment ratio (GER) at 23.6 per cent in 2014-15, against 23 per cent in 2013-14.

However, a comparison of data indicates that the enrolment of students in higher educational institutions was much higher in 2013-14 as against 2014-15.

The HRD Minister expressed satisfaction with the trend, saying the data collected so far indicated that India would achieve its target of taking GER in higher education sector to 30 per cent by 2020 as envisioned by the fifth planning commission.

“To achieve the target, we will have to leverage available infrastructure and use them in a better way,” she said, and listed the measures that need to be taken to raise GER to 30 per cent from the present 23.6 per cent.  
She also urged the state governments to join in the Ministry’s efforts and take initiatives for updating of curriculum of the universities and colleges functioning under their jurisdiction.

“There is need to bring major changes in the curriculum of the institutions functioning under various state governments. I request all the state governments to see how this can be done,” the Minister said, addressing senior officials from various states.

The UGC and AICTE prepared model curriculum could be used as reference by the states, she said.

The Minister accepted a suggestion by Karnataka’s additional chief secretary, higher education, Bharat Lal Meena for organising national conferences for sharing best practices of various states.

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