Eminent academician and President of Association of Indian Universities Prof PB Sharma today urged the Government to pay the highest attention to creating an illustrious clan of teaching faculty for the country's 800 plus Universities and 45,000 Colleges currently facing a severe shortage of teachers.
Using the occasion of Teachers Day, Dr Sharma, underlined the need of serious introspection on the way of recruitment of teachers and even of the vice chancellors for universities and colleges was done.
''It is not just the qualifications but the creative ability, ingenuity and innovativeness along with intent and attitude that matters most when it comes to nurturing talent, imparting competence and building character in the student community,'' said Prof Sharma who himself has been a Professor in IIT Delhi and founder Vice Chancellor of DTU and RGTU. He is currently also vice chancellor of Amity University.
He pointed out that one of the basic problems, in the later part of the post independence India, especially after the globalization in 1991, had been that the teaching profession was relegated to be the least preferred choice of the meritorious graduates who being largely unaware of the nobility of teaching profession preferred more lucrative positions in corporate and industry.
The irreparable damage was further caused by the unabated expansion of the education sector that allowed mushrooming growth of colleges and universities without care and concerns for quality of faculty, he said.
The teacher's day should give a wake up call to the government and those in the management of colleges and universities in India to mount a serious exercise of faculty search, to attract the very best minds of teachers, if need be, from beyond the national borders as Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan himself has stated "Teachers should be the best minds in the country", Dr Sharma said.
''Unfortunately, we have not learnt much from the best practices followed in the world class universities of the advanced countries like US, UK and Europe, nor from our Asian giants like Singapore and Japan where greatest care is taken for attracting the best minds for faculty and then driving them on the top of their performance by the peer pressure during annual reviews,'' he said.
He pointed out that in the American universities 8-9 years of sustained high performance by a faculty, duly certified by both the peers and the students, is necessary to earn a tenure track position of professorship, whereas compared to this, most Indian Universities and Colleges still continue with the age old system of confirmation of faculty after one or maximum two years of probation.
Dr Sharma called for making education and research relevant to the needs of the society and industry, which requires aligning research and innovations to solving the pressing problems such as, environmental health, solid waste management, waste water processing, cleaning of rivers and water bodies, clean energy and green transport technologies etc.
''We need education for creating employment, including self employment in plenty by accelerating startups in our colleges and universities to meet the aspirations of our 1.32 billion people in this country. We can do it but we need radical shift in our approach to education and research. The focus shall then shift from knowledge, (gyana) to capabilities, (hunar),'' he said.
UNI NAZ SHK 1706
-- (UNI) -- C-1-1-DL0091-1041843.Xml