Tuesday, 17 May, 2022
HomeIndiaEducationWhy 1,500 IIT, NIT graduates helping govt improve education in India now...

Why 1,500 IIT, NIT graduates helping govt improve education in India now face job loss

The 1,500 graduates were recruited as faculty in 18 states and one UT in 2018 as part of a World Bank-funded central government scheme.

Text Size:

New Delhi: Nearly 1,500 graduates of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and the National Institutes of Technology (NITs) who were given the charge of improving the quality of technical education in certain focus states now stare at unemployment as their three-year term comes to an end in March.

The graduates were recruited as faculty at engineering colleges in 18 states and one union territory in 2018 as part of the Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme (TEQIP), a World Bank-funded central government scheme. The states chosen spanned three categories — northeastern, hilly and low-income. 

This particular assignment was TEQIP-III, under which the Ministry of Education signed an MoU with Rajasthan, Bihar, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh, among others. 

The idea was to engage graduates from top education institutions in India as faculty members to improve the quality of education in the given states/UT. The 1,500 IIT and NIT graduates were appointed as faculty in 72 rural colleges and universities.

While the initial advertisement for TEQIP-III was about project-based recruitment, the central government subsequently asked participating states/UT to prepare a “sustainability plan” for the faculty members, to retain them longer, in order to ensure their talent is fully utilised. However, no such move appears to have transpired.

A detailed email sent to the Ministry of Education regarding the future of the TEQIP recruits hadn’t elicited a reply until the time of publishing this report.

Sources in the central government told ThePrint that it cannot intervene in the matter because the recruitment was done for a particular project for a limited time period. Unless the state/UT governments absorb them in their colleges against vacancies, the recruits will be left to fend for themselves, they added.

TEQIP Central Project Adviser P.M. Khodke told ThePrint that “the faculty members appointed were very well aware that their appointment is limited for the project”. 

“The appointments were over and above the sanctioned strength in state government colleges and was not a permanent recruitment,” he said. “Even if the states have to absorb them, different states have different rules and regulations…” 

ThePrint reached officials in two of the participating states for comments. However, calls to Rajasthan State Technical Education Secretary Suchi Sharma and Uttar Pradesh Minister of State for Education Sandeep Singh went unanswered.

An official in the UP higher education department said they could only hire people if they had vacancies. “If we have a vacancy, we can hire people. But we cannot go against the rules.” 


Also Read: Education ministry draws up 60-point agenda to implement NEP


‘Under tremendous mental stress’

The recruits engaged under TEQIP-III issued a joint statement to the media earlier this month, voicing their fears.

“Our project is expiring on 31st March 2021 (initially Sept 2020 where we were given a 6-month extension, so now 31st March 2021) and there is no effort by any party to retain or absorb us… As a result we are on verge of being unemployed after 31st March,” the statement said.

“We improved the standard of education of rural India as we all are from IITs and NITs and have qualified GATE exam which was a prerequisite for selection as a TEQIP faculty…”

GATE or the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering is taken by those looking to pursue their post-graduation in engineering and for recruitment to certain PSUs.

“We all highly qualified faculties improved the standard of engineering education of rural India in 3-and-half years but we are on the cusp of losing our career. Where will we go after putting 3.5 years in these colleges? We are under tremendous mental stress as we always were promised retention and continuation of services by the central government and states. Now we are on verge of unemployment despite having IIT and NIT degrees,” the statement added.

Retaining well-performing recruits beyond the project deadline has been an idea that has held traction within the central government.

P.M. Khodke has written to the states/UT, asking them to prepare a “sustainability plan” for the faculty. In one such letter, written in August 2019 and accessed by ThePrint, he said: “Secretary MHRD (Human Resource Development Ministry, as MoE was known until last year) during various meetings with state secretaries, has suggested states to prepare a sustainability plan for these highly qualified project faculties as they have been selected through a rigorous open selection process at national level, so that these faculties are retained till regular recruitments are completed in the state.” 

He added: “In view of the above you are requested to submit a sustainability plan for these project-based temporary faculties in your states.”

Khodke added that funding to the state governments for the project will be issued based on an “understanding that well-performing faculty hired using project funds will be retained post project, all else unchanged and any of the faculty retained will be paid exclusively from state funds”. 

At a meeting of the TEQIP-III steering committee last month, it was recommended that the ministry ensure the faculty stays on beyond the project deadline, especially in light of the Covid pandemic. 

According to the minutes of the meeting, a copy of which is with ThePrint, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) Chairman Anil Sahasrabuddhe made a case in this regard.

He said “an amicable solution needs to be evolved to make them stay beyond the project”. They will become jobless if they are not absorbed by the state institutions and, due to the pandemic, private institutions are not hiring any faculty, he added.

The graduates, he said, “are writing to AICTE also, to get them absorbed in the institutes”. 

“The MoE should request state governments on an urgent basis to give them the opportunity to work on ad-hoc basis in their state-governed institutes,” he added.

At the same meeting, K.K. Aggarwal, Chairman of the National Board of Accreditation (NBA), which is responsible for accrediting higher education institutes, also made an argument in favour of the idea. 

“Once TEQIP faculties leave the institutions, the institutions will lose the gains achieved in the project,” he said, adding that it should be explored if the AICTE, University Grants Commission (UGC) could evolve a mechanism for the absorption of these recruits.

It was decided at the meeting that the matter will be discussed further.


Also Read: IITs, IIMs & universities hired 350 teaching staff online during lockdown, says Modi govt


 

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it

India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.

But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.

ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.

Support Our Journalism

9 COMMENTS

  1. all poor quality candidates took advantage of the scheme and took salary for 3+1 years without giving back to the society

  2. Majority of students must go to vocational training schools. The NIT, IIT’s are all book knowledge schools. The book knowledge is useful in some white collar jobs but most of the jobs in India will be blue collar or no collar jobs for the foreseeable future.

  3. Hi KRITIKA SHARMA,

    I would like to understand more about these faculties. I would also like to explore if there is a possibility to hire

  4. As per the report, the colleges already have faculty selected through normal procedures. Then why the new entrants were thrust on the colleges. Can the colleges afford over employment? The new entrants should have been on the look out for gainful employment. They are naive to wait and look for mercy.

  5. Well. Educated Graduates of IITs and NITs, You have trusted the words of a Great Wise Person. Do not lose hope. This Great Wise person always keeps his word.

  6. Vacancies in UP are only for cow vigilantes, pakora sellers, chai wallahs…..These jobs help you advance in politics.

  7. TEQIP Faculties have done tremendous work towards the improvement of Higher education quality.bin India. State government and central govt should give a amicable solution to absorb these Faculties.

  8. This was a good initiative to improve quality education in India govt should absorb them if govt don’t take a call on this not only these 1500 teacher impact but this also give a wrong message for any future govt plan to attract a good talent to help govt on various development initiative.

Comments are closed.

Most Popular

×