Engineering teachers facing unemployment protest at Jantar Mantar

Over a 1,000 teachers recruited to improve the quality of technical education will be rendered jobless from March 31

Hundreds of engineering college teachers from across the country gathered at Jantar Mantar on Wednesday to demonstrate against their imminent unemployment. The contracts of these assistant professors, who were employed by the federal government under the Technical Education Quality Improvement Program (TEQIP) – III, will face unemployment on March 31. These teachers were chosen and put in backward areas to boost the standard of technical education there. They are graduates and postgraduates from some of the country’s top engineering institutions.

Temporary faculty members were installed in public technical colleges in seven low-income areas, including Muzaffarpur and Gaya in Bihar, Lakhanpur in Chhattisgarh, Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh, and Ajmer in Rajasthan, as part of TEQIP’s third step. Their contract, however, is scheduled to expire on March 31, and neither the state governments where they are employed nor the federal government are prepared to absorb them as permanent faculty members, despite an initial understanding that they will be recruited by the states. As a result, these TEQIP faculty members are protesting, demanding that their contracts be extended or that they be integrated into the daily faculty. All decided to continue the scheme during a meeting of the National Steering Committee of TEQIP III in January this year because it has helped educational institutions.

During the meeting, Chairman of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) Anil Shasrabudhe said, “Regarding the project faculty, an amicable solution needs to be evolved to make them stay beyond the project duration, since these faculties have been selected through a fairly rigorous process.” They also made important contributions to the project institutes. They will face unemployment at once the project is completed. Due to the pandemic, private universities are not hiring any faculty, suggesting that the TEQIP faculty has a grim future. They are also writing to the AICTE to get them accepted into the institutes. He proposed that the Ministry of Education make an urgent request to state governments to allow them to operate on an ad hoc basis in state-run institutions.”

Faculty from TEQIP III have increased their peaceful protests at New Delhi’s Jantar Mantar. The protests have been called since 1554 TEQIP III faculty members face losing their jobs after their contracts expire on March 31, 2021. The protesters have requested that they be retained and regularised, arguing that they have been responsible for the education of many students across the world.

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