The recent All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE, 2017 – 18), released by the MHRD, has demonstrated the abysmal state of higher education in India. The report has confirmed massive vacancies in faculty positions in colleges and universities across the country, low enrolment in higher education and scarce research opportunities available.
Massive Vacancies in Faculty Positions: According to the AISHE 2017 – 18, the total number of teachers in higher educational institutions in India has drastically come down by about 2.34-lakh in the last three years. The total numbers of faculty members in 2015 – 16 was 15.18 lakh, and now it stood at only 12.84 lakh. The report clearly exposes the apathetic ruling regime which has refused to start the selection process even when lakhs of vacancies are pending for last few years. It is also important note that even in this crisis situation of widespread vacancies, the Modi Government is bringing more exclusionary policies for faculty recruitment. Recently, UGC regulations has made PhD mandatory qualification for assistant professors, which will both deny employment opportunities for students coming from marginalized backgrounds and worsen the current situation of rising vacancies.
Low Enrolment Ratio and Scare Research Opportunities: The AISHE Report also shows that in India, the gross enrolment ratio in higher education is 25.8. That is for every 100 persons in the age group 18-23 years in India, only 25.8 people access higher education. The gross enrolment ratio in India is even lower for deprived sections: for Scheduled Castes, it is 21.8 and for Scheduled Tribes, it is 15.9. Muslim minority students constitute meagre 5% of the total enrollment, while they comprise 14.2% of the country’s population. The report further exposes the scare research opportunities in the country as students enrolled in PhD is mere 0.5% of the total student enrollment. Even in this pathetic scenario of research opportunities the BJP Government is hell-bent on further seat cut in M.Phil – PhD through exclusionary policies, as we have seen recently seen in JNU and Delhi University.
On behalf of AISA, we demand that all vacant faculty positions must be fulfilled urgently. The Government must immediately reverse the arbitrary imposition of policies of research seat cut and exclusionary criteria for faculty appointments. Affordable educational opportunities and dignified employment are our rights, and we will fight for it!
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