New Delhi: The shortfall of teaching staff in universities across states has drawn the attention of a parliamentary panel which has slammed the human resource development (HRD) ministry for the "discouraging " situation.
It says in 24 central universities across 16 states, on an average 35 percent of teaching posts are lying vacant.
The parliamentary standing committee on HRD in a report tabled in parliament took a "serious note" of these vacant posts, and pointed out that it may possibly mean young students are not attracted towards the teaching profession.
"The committee observes that the situation is quite discouraging at present," the panel said.
The report says, of 77 state universities, according to the data from 2007, 19 universities have more than 50 percent vacancies, and in 14 other universities 40 percent posts are vacant.
The universities with a large number of vacancies include Delhi University, where nearly half, or 919 of the 1,701 sanctioned posts are vacant. In Banaras Hindu University, there are no teachers in 848 posts, and in Allahabad University 285 posts are vacant.
Showing some leniency towards the newly formed central universities, the MPs' committee said a large number of vacancies in the central universities formed in the last three to four years could be "justified to some extent".
However, it questions the long established universities as to why they have been unable to appoint teachers.
"...either our young students are not attracted towards the teaching profession or the recruitment process is a prolonged one and involves too many procedural formalities," the panel says.
The report also slams the government on delays in raising the salary scales of teachers in colleges and universities, saying "the improved package will undoubtedly help in attracting and retaining talented teachers, resulting ultimately in the improvement of quality of higher education".
The non-utilisation of allocated funds by the central university has also been criticised by the panel.
It, however, adds that the proposed National Mission on Teachers and Training, which is to be launched in the 12th plan, is a step in right direction, even though delayed. IANS