Of the 1,267 sanctioned positions across departments, with teachers superannuating over the years, 845 posts lie vacant
Hyderabad: In what could be a compelling sign of the situation in the historic Osmania University, nearly two-thirds of faculty posts are lying vacant. From 1,267 sanctioned faculty positions across departments, a shocking 845 are lying vacant!
With a large number of teaching faculty superannuating each year, the 100-plus-year-old university has just 422 faculty on the job currently.
Of the total sanctioned posts, 158 are professors, 514 are associate professors and 601 are assistant professors. Among these positions, 114 professors, 52 associate professors and 256 assistant professors are currently rendering their services to the university.
This year, 28 teachers from various departments have retired. In 2021, 19 including 14 professors in 12 departments — Physics, Genetics, Urdu, Political Science, Zoology, English, Hindi, Statistics, Botany, Technology, Chemistry and Bio-Chemistry are slated to retire. Likewise, in 2022, another 20 teachers, including 11 professors, will superannuate.
In fact, due to these retirements, there are a few departments which do not have a single professor. This dearth of faculty members has cast a shadow on the academic progress in the university. “Due to these retirements, the workload on existing teachers has gone up. The research activity has been impacted. Though there are several assistant professors who are eligible for promotion to associate professor level, they are yet to be promoted,” a faculty member said.
As there are large number of vacancies, the university has employed 387 academic consultants on a contract basis in various departments. Presently, 809 teachers including academic consultants are working with the university.
The university had last gone for a regular recruitment drive for 159 posts including one associate professor and remaining assistant professor posts in 2013-14. In 2017, the university had notified and filled 16 backlog vacancies in teaching.
In fact, the State government had permitted recruitment to 1,061 posts in 11 universities, including OU, Kakatiya University, Telangana University, Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies, Dr B R Ambedkar Open University and Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University-Hyderabad among others. Of these total posts, 450 alone were in OU.
In 2018, the Executive Council of OU gave its nod for recruitment to vacant posts. However, this did not take off due to issues over the reservation policy. Upon directions of the Allahabad High Court, the University Grants Commission (UGC) had directed all HEIs to consider department or subject as a unit instead of university or college while giving reservations to SCs/STs or OBCs in recruitment. This issue got into a legal tangle after which the Union government brought in an ordinance restoring university or college as a unit, following which the UGC issued an order on the same.
As the three-year term of the then OU Vice-Chancellor Prof S Ramachandram ended in 2018, the varsity administration could not go further on the recruitment process. “Though there is shortage of teaching faculty, recruitments will commence after the university gets a regular Vice-Chancellor,” a senior official said.
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