IITs to cast net for foreign faculty

The Human Resource Development Ministry will set the ball rolling on facilitating the recruitment of permanent foreign faculty in the Indian Institutes of Technology.

As of now, the IITs can hire foreign faculty only on a contract basis for five years.

The Ministry will take up the matter with the Ministries of Home and External Affairs, whose permission is required for the switch.

Chaired by Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar, the IIT Council, at its meeting on Monday, took this decision, and it is for the government now to take up the matter with the Ministries concerned.

A senior official told The Hindu that the move was applicable only to the IITs. The IITs are demanding that they be allowed to hire regular foreign faculty to get a wider talent pool to fill up their vacancies.

This will also enable them to climb in global rankings, as the faculty-student ratio and foreign faculty are two of the parameters used in top global rankings.

IIT-Delhi Director V. Ramgopal Rao recently told The Hindu in an interview that the inability to hire permanent foreign faculty was a problem the institution was facing.

As many as 300 faculty positions are vacant in the IIT-Delhi alone, which is about 40% of its faculty strength. If all the IITs are taken together, the vacancies add up to about 5,000.

This directly affects three or four parameters in the QS global ranking and ends up pushing the IITs’ ranks down.

One reason for the vacancies in the IITs is that they do not get good candidates. Opening the doors for academics from abroad can address this.

Contractual appointments do not really help, as the contractual teacher cannot take Ph.D. students from the second year of the contract, since it is not known whether the contract will be renewed or not.

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Printable version | Apr 13, 2021 4:36:17 AM |

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