Published On: Wed, Feb 29th, 2012

Andhra University facing shortage of 500 faculty

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Acute shortage of faculty in almost every department of teaching has affected the functioning of Andhra University here.

According to official sources, the university requires nearly 1,000 regular faculties to teach thousands of students. But according to the treasurer of the Andhra University unit of the AP Federation of University Teachers Association (APFUTA) and head of the department of Human Genetics, Prof. G. Sudhakar, the university was currently being run with half of the required faculty. Half of the current faculty are temporary teaching associates who were recruited on contract basis for consolidated sala-ries ranging from ` 10,000 to Rs.15,000 per month.

Speaking to this correspondent at the ongoing protest by the unit in front of the university’s main gate here on Tuesday, Prof. Sudhakar said that the APFUTA was protesting against government for failing to address their long-pending demands including the provision of full-fledged faculty to the university.

Apart from faculty shortage, poor block grants for maintenance of the department was also putting the university in trouble. Faculty members of the university had decided to stage a series of protests, he said, while ruling out that their protest was affecting the classes of students and their examination preparations.

Nearly 20 faculty, including Prof. M.Purnachandra Rao, president of the university unit, took part in the relay hunger protest in front of the university entrance gate on Tuesday. They demanded that government pay the UGC revised pay-scale arrears from 2006, hike retirement age to 65 years and block grants for maintenance.

Activists and leaders of the Vizag unit of the Students’ Federation of India held a rally on the university campus. SFI leader B. Jagan demanded that government immediately take steps to fill vacancies in universities and appoint a vice-chancellor for Andhra University by the end of this academic year.

Meanwhile, the local MP and the Union minister of state for Human Resource Development, Ms D. Purandeswari, said that nearly 40 percent of professor posts at various universities in the country were still vacant.

Interacting with a group of AU faculty here on Tuesday, she said that their government was taking all possible steps to fill the gap between the students and teachers’ ratio in higher education system in order to sustain the quality of education. The teachers met the minister as part of their protests against the state government for failing to address their long- pending demands.

(source: Deccan Chronicle)