University of Madras Battling Professor Shortage

DSC04009About 200 of the 350 posts for professors are lying vacant in the University of Madras.

University of Madras is the largest educational institute in Tamil Nadu. 21 out of the 68 departments in the University do not have a professor to head them, and are being governed by associate professors or heads of other departments.

Departments like Saivasiddhanta , Jainology and Patanjali Yogasutram do not have any permanent faculty. They are being managed by professors from the Philosophy and Sanskrit departments.

The chief cause for this shortage is the aversion of the administration towards recruiting professors. The last appointment for assistant professors was done in 2001. Since then only 15-20 professors have been hired. The situation has worsened with 10-11 professors retiring every year.


The University Grants Commission (UGC) norms prescribe 7 members per department – 1 Professor, 2 Associate Professors and 4 Assistant Professors. None of the departments in the University meet this criterion.

“This shortage is a very serious problem. However, we’ll soon overcome it. Within 2-3 months, we’ll fill all vacant slots. We are currently managing with guest faculty. I’m presently carrying the burden of heading two departments. We are doing our bit to help the University in this time of need,” says Head of Department of Philosophy, Professor S. Panneerselvam.

He further added that most posts are disputed as they are under court stay orders filed by rejected candidates who challenge the appointments.

DSC04013This is severely hampering the quality of the education. The university has stopped receiving grants from the UGC, as it has failed to meet the prescribed norms. This is hindering the growth of infrastructure within the campus.

With the absence of a permanent faculty, the classes lack continuity. The available guest faculty has no obligation towards the timetable. Students are not given personal attention. The number of students allotted to one teacher exceeds usual classroom strength.

These are the basic problems faced by the University of Madras that prevent it from realizing its full potential. Internally, it fails to live up to its name.

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