In the latest move to better student-teacher ratio in IITs and rankings at international level, MHRD is to count PhD scholars as faculty members. Five PhD scholars will be counted as one faculty.
One of the foremost reasons for the poor rankings of IITs and IIMs for that matter at the world level is a poor student-teacher ratio and the other one being fewer research scholars. While these two premium institutes of technology and management are struggling with other problems too contributing to their consistent poor rankings, but MHRD has already taken some steps to better the otherwise gloomy situation.
To add more to the number of PhD scholars, some of the exceptionally talented B.Tech students will get the direct entry into the PhD courses. However, to address the dismal teacher-student ratio, IITs will now count their PhD scholars as the part of the faculty.
This decision was taken in the last meeting of IIT council held on August 23, 2016 as the HRD minister Prakash Javadekhar accepted the proposal to count five PhD scholars equal to one faculty member to better the teacher-student ratio in IITs. The decision will be notified soon and communicated to the ranking agencies like Quacquareli Symonds (QS), Times Higher Education etc.
As per this decision, every PhD scholar has to teach the undergraduate classes 10 hours a week. As every faculty member at the IITs has a teaching workload of 40 hours a week, five PhD students will be counted as one faculty member. Well, this isn’t something new as MIT and Stanford also do this.
Currently, more than 2600 faculty positions are lying vacant across all IITs and the student-teacher ratio stands at 15:1 as against the desirable 10:1. Once the move comes into force, 26,000 PhD scholars at IITs will be counted as an additional 5000 faculty members, which will help in achieving the desired student ratio.
With this move, the HRD ministry hopes that better teacher-student ratio, one of the cardinal factors in ranking institutes all over the world, and international rankings. Out of seven IITs which figured in the top 700 of the QS world rankings this year, six has slipped several places down as compared to their last year rankings with the only exception IIT Madras which moved five places up to be in the league of top 250 educational institutes in the world.