Many colleges continue to list staff members who have retired or resigned on their rolls

Teachers in over 530 engineering institutions across the State, affiliated to Anna University, will soon have teacher ID cards.

The card will contain details of their academic qualifications and professional information and will not only prevent impersonation, but also contribute to building a database of teachers, said officials.

A software application, being developed by the university, will integrate the data of nearly 66,000 teachers in engineering and management disciplines. The information will be uploaded on the university website soon. Teachers will be classified according to the discipline they belong to, and will be numbered as per seniority.

Anna University vice-chancellor M. Rajaram said a team of experts was working on the project, which is expected to be completed in three months.

“It will ease the supervision and management of teachers, especially during reviews. Also, teachers can update their education qualification as and when they obtain degrees. They won’t have to go through the hassle of obtaining originals during the annual review process,” he added.

Teams from the university will soon visit colleges and collect information. Prof. Rajaram said an exact count would be taken of the number of teachers and their certificates would be checked to ensure that the details keyed into the database are accurate.

The data will also help the university identify the colleges that do not follow the mandated 1:15 teacher-student ratio.

In some colleges, school teachers and software employees have been listed as faculty.

“Last year, 1/3rd of the colleges we reviewed listed those who had resigned or retired on their payrolls. Many also ‘borrowed’ teachers from other colleges. When we summoned the teachers, college officials said that the faculty were not in town. And, there is no way to check if that is true,” said a professor.

While most colleges welcomed this decision, some said that the university was superseding its powers by seeking data about teachers in private colleges that are only affiliated to it.

“Many of us function with less than half the sanctioned strength; teachers often quit within five-six months. The university should help us in retaining teachers, rather than instituting such rules and trying to shift the blame on us,” said a principal of a private college.

In 2010, the university announced that it would create a database of teachers in all its affiliated colleges but the scheme did not take off. This time, however, officials are confident. “We have spent a lot of money on the software, and the format of the card is almost ready. We will soon start collecting data from our regional centres,” said Prof. Rajaram.