Gujarat higher education faces staff crunch

There is an acute shortage of teaching staff in the higher education institutions of Gujarat, revealed the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG). It was also revealed that 60 per cent institutions providing higher and technical have not obtained NAAC/NBA accreditation which results in lack of quality education. No mechanism was evolved to bridge the gap through recruitment even though the teacher/student ratio was so low in government and grant-in-aid colleges, observes the report. It also mentioned that persistent shortage will have adverse implications on the quality of teaching. The CAG report also mentions that scrutiny of records had revealed that out of 10 universities and 899 institutions in the higher education sector, only five universities and 345 institutions had obtained accreditation from NAAC as of May 2010. And worse, they had not even applied for accreditation. According to the report, the teacher/student ratio for non-technical courses in Gujarat has gone from bad to worse. The ratio of 1:50 in 2006-07 worsened to 1:57 in 2008-09. As per the norms of University Grant Commission (UGC), the ratio should be 1:30. Moreover, out of 293 technical institutions, only 117 had obtained NBA accreditation and 43 institutions had failed to renew the same after expiry, added the report. The CAG report has also brought to notice that the government did not set up a teachers' training university to bring uniformity in the standards of teaching in higher education despite availability of Rs6.95 crore. Moreover, a knowledge consortium and a knowledge corporation were not activated due to lack of planning. Besides, assistance of Rs3.28 crore from UGC and AICTE was not availed due to non-execution of work, non-payment of staff as per UGC norms, delay in disbursement of funds and non-observance of AICTE instructions. The CAG report also mentions that the Digital English Language Laboratory (DELL) project, created at a cost of Rs18.12 crore, was not fully utilised and failed to achieve its objective of promotion of English language through information and communication technology. Cases of non-disbursement or delay in disbursement of scholarships also came to notice. Thirty-five colleges of technical education did not have access to free e-journals and e-books under the Indian National Digital Library in Engineering Sciences and Technology (INDEST) programme and thus benefits of e-libraries could not be passed on to the students, said the report.

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