TEQIP III: Only Bihar, Uttarakhand continue with highly qualified teachers in engineering colleges

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Despite intervention by the Union education ministry, only two states so far — Bihar and Uttarakhand — have agreed to absorb pass-outs from the Indian Institutes of Technology and National Institutes of Technology that were recruited in engineering institutes in rural and semi-urban areas.  

Nearly 1,500 technical education teachers when recruited across 18 states had joined on temporary basis in technical institutions in backward or “aspirational” districts in early 2018 under a special project steered by the Centre.

Many of these recruits were PhDs or M. Tech holders of Indian Institutes of Science Education with some degrees from Research and Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, apart from graduates from the IITs and NITs.

The government had projected the World Bank-funded Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme (TEQIP III) as a measure to aid technical colleges in various states. These states included Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand Madhya Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Andaman, and Nicobar, Assam, and Meghalaya, among others.

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The government had asked states to come up with a “sustainability plan” for these employees and urged them to prioritize them in regular appointments in engineering colleges.

As the states failed to do so, the Centre too, after having given them a few extensions till September this year, decided to discontinue the project leaving these teachers in the lurch.

It, however, did take up the matter with the states where the teachers are employed but only in the case of two states, the efforts have yielded positive results so far.

“All the teachers In Bihar and Uttarakhand have continued in service while we are still in talks with a few other states to resolve the issue,” said a senior official in the higher education department of the ministry. “Most of the other states, unfortunately, seem non-committal on the matter.”

Mayank Kumar, a former teacher in Rajkiya engineering college in Bijnor, UP who lost his job on October 1 meanwhile expressed dismay as the state technical education department has decided to replace teachers like him with guest faculties.

“The Union government everywhere has been taking credit for improving the quality of education in engineering colleges through this project and now the scheme has just been dropped by authorities like a hot potato mainly due to funding issues,” he said.