IITs to Scout for Foreign Faculty Jointly


IITs forms a united front where each institute has assigned one or more geographical area to recruit global teaching talent

Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) have formed a united front to tackle a common problem which is crunch of foreign faculty. Currently, none of the 23 IITs has the permanent faculty of foreign origin while a few have Indian-origin foreign faculty or adjunct foreign faculty.
A meeting of IIT directors and officials of the ministry of human resource development last month decided to streamline the faculty scouting process with a focused approach.

One geographical area to each IIT

Well, each top institute has been allocated one or more geographical area where it will be responsible for the recruitment of global teaching talent. The recruitment is not just for that particular IIT but for other IITs as well.

As per the IIT council meeting, it will set up the working group of a few IITs to carry on the global faculty hunt. Meanwhile, the human resource ministry is in talks with the foreign ministry to help ease visa guidelines that restrict foreigners to work as faculty members on a permanent basis in India.

The main area for looking the faculties is the US which has been divided into three regions. These three regions are allocated to IIT-Bombay (West Coast), IIT-Delhi (southern US) and IIT-Madras (East Coast. While IIT-Hyderabad will hunt for teachers in Japan, IIT-Mandi in Scandinavia and IIT-Ropar in Canada.

Bhaskar Ramamurthy, director, IIT-Madras told that the plan to recruit faculty on behalf of others was still in a formative stage but would definitely help all IITs in getting access to foreign faculty. Well, IIT-Ropar is the first to initiate steps on this front where it is going to hold walk-in interviews in Toronto on September 15. The institute is already spreading information about the recruitment drive through the Indian community in Canada.

Devang Khakhar, director, IIT-Bombay commented that foreign faculty would not only bring diversity at the IIT campuses but also help them improve their global rankings. The institute has tie-ups for student exchange, curriculum share and faculty with Scandinavian countries like Sweden, Norway and Denmark and hence has been assigned this region.
Joint faculty selection is not possible. The faculty shortage is so acute that an IIT may recruit first for itself rather than on behalf of others.