HYDERABAD: Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s move to sanction 84,876 appointments across various departments has brought much relief to state universities that have been reeling under an acute shortage of teachers for the last three years.
Roughly 54 per cent teaching posts have been lying vacant in 11 state universities. As per the data available with the Telangana State Council of Higher Education (TSCHE), of the 2,753 sanctioned posts the universities, collectively, have as many as 1,504 vacancies. Only a meagre 1,249 teacher posts are currently filled.
The worst affected among them is Osmania University (OU), the oldest varsity in Telangana. While the university requires 1,088 teachers, it has a meagre 653 teachers on campus.
In order to plug this gap and increase the faculty strength across other affected state universities, the government has decided to appoint more assistant professors, associate professors and professors. According to officials, the government has, in principle, accepted to fill 1,061 posts. Of them 450 vacancies are in OU alone.
“Following the CM’s announcement, we are now waiting for an official go ahead from the state government to initiate teachers’ recruitment. As soon as the government grants permission, the executive council will issue a notification and call for applications,” said Battu Satyanarayana, president of the Telangana State Federation of University Teachers Association.
Apart from the low recruitment rate, another concern staring universities in the face is the high number of teachers retiring every year. While 45 teachers retired in 2015 and 43 in 2016, another 38 are set to retire this year.
“Rising retirement rate and delay in appointing teachers, are both hampering the quality of education in state universities. Instead of making such tall claims, it’s high time the government fulfils its promise so that thousands of unemployed students can be benefited,” said Manavatha Roy, a student leader from OU.
The government’s decision to fill the vacancies comes at a time when officials of the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) are in Telangana to inspect various universities. While inspections are currently being held in OU, the NAAC inspection team is expected to visit Kakatiya University and Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad soon. The government’s failure to recruit teachers before the inspection committee’s visit to the universities might lead to poor grades, said experts.