Post-graduates from technical institutes like IITs, who were recruited as faculty for the Ministry of Education’s Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme (TEQIP) are not being absorbed as faculty at the conclusion of the project. They are presently protesting at Shastri Bhavan in New Delhi, demanding absorption in their project institutes.
The TEQIP was initiated with the World Bank, with the aim of improving the quality of technical education in Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand and the eight north-eastern states, by providing resources and highly qualified faculty members to existing engineering colleges in these states.
Selected faculty had been engaged as assistant professors in the institutes concerned since January 2018. These faculty members should have been absorbed in these very institutes, at the end of the project. This is clearly reflected in a clause in the project implementation plan which stated that the funding under the project “will be based on an understanding with state governments that well-performing faculty hired using project funds will be retained post project, all else unchanged”.
Instead of being absorbed in the institutes as full-time faculty, these assistant professors are being offered only the post of guest faculty. The compensation for guest faculty is on an hourly basis with a maximum pay of Rs. 21,000 per month. Currently, the faculty are earning Rs. 70,000 per month under the project.
The faculty are particularly disappointed and angry at being deprived of an assured job, because they had given up other opportunities in industry, quit previous teaching jobs and have now been left high and dry. They had relied on the commitment made to them that they would be absorbed in their project institutes at the end of the project.
The Ministry of Education has clearly gone back on its commitment. Each state government has been left to act on its discretion instead of ensuring that they act as per the project implementation plan. This reflects the callousness of the ministries of both the central and state government. It is a farce to claim that they want to raise the quality of technical education when they do not want to engage good quality faculty that are available. The whole exercise is to simply get World Bank funds while the project is on and then do nothing to sustain the project, including ensuring security of jobs and suitable remuneration for the technical teaching staff.
The demands of the faculty are just and must be supported.