New Delhi, Feb 7 (IANS) President Pranab Mukherjee has urged central universities and the human resource development ministry to fill all vacant posts of teachers in six months, an official statement from Rashtrapati Bhavan said Thursday.
The president, in his closing address to a conference of vice-chancellors Tuesday, said all universities should have at least one centre of excellence.
"The President called upon the vice-chancellors and ministry of human resource development to try and fill up vacancies to faculty positions within six months to the best extent possible, and assured that vacancies of visitor's nominees would also be filled up in three to six months," the statement said.
The statement said Mukherjee called upon the universities "to establish at least one centre of excellence each and to enhance collaboration with specialists from India and abroad".
He also called upon the VCs to make greater use of the information technology tools made available by the ministry of human resource development and promised that he himself would be available to interact with students and teachers through video conferencing.
Improving quality of education was the focus of the conference, which was called after a gap of nearly 10 years. Use of technology in education and creation of an 'Inspired Teachers' Network' and an 'Innovators Club' within each central university was also discussed.
According to the report of a parliamentary panel on the human resource development ministry, in 24 central universities across 16 states, on an average 35 percent of teaching posts are vacant. In 77 state universities as per the data from 2007, 19 universities have more than 50 percent vacancies, and in 14 other universities, 40 percent posts were vacant.
The universities with large number of vacancies include Delhi University, where 919 of the 1,701 sanctioned posts are vacant. In Banaras Hindu University, 848 posts are vacant, and in Allahabad University 285 posts are vacant.