The dismal result of the first semester of diploma in engineering in polytechnic colleges affiliated to the Gujarat Technological University (GTU) shouldn't come as a surprise. As per the information shared under Right to Information last year, on an average 70% of teaching posts are vacant in 26 of these colleges.
The total sanctioned posts of principal, head of department and lecturer comes to 2,730. However, only 845 teaching posts are filled which amounts to only 30.95% of the posts. A total of 1,885 posts are vacant awaiting government nod.
Of the 26 polytechnics only four have full-time principals. Of the sanctioned 253 posts of head of the department only 94 are filled and of the 2,451 sanctioned posts of lecturers only 747 are filled.
There are around 72 polytechnic colleges in Gujarat with 45,000 seats for diploma studies. Experts in the field of education state that faculty crunch is due to double shifts and increase in number of seats in the last few years.
"It has been four years since the classes for diploma runs in two shifts. This automatically increases requirement for teaching faculty. Moreover, number of seats has been increased. There is huge gap in teacher-student ratio," said one of the principals. The proposal to fill the sanctioned posts had been lying with the state government for the last four years but no approval had been granted so far, he added.
Commissioner of technical education, T Natarajan, agreed that there were vacant seats in polytechnic colleges. "To fill up the important posts, we have to follow procedure. The proposal to fill these posts is lying with the education department," he said. He, however, claimed that they have recruited around 1,000 people on temporary and contractual basis to solve problem of faculty crunch.