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Around 12,000 engineering college teachers in Tamil Nadu, a state with most number of engineering institutes in the country, have lost their jobs due to the change in teacher-student ratio from 1:15 to 1:20, according to a report by the Times of India.
The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) had issued the new staff ratio rule ahead of the 2018-19 academic year.
KM Karthik, founder of Private Educational Institutions Employees Association, told the paper that according to the old ratio, the colleges should have appointed around 66,000 teachers. However, he said they did not adhere to the norms.
“Colleges had only about 55,000 teachers on the payroll,” Karthik said. “Many of the sacked teachers had at least 10 years of experience and were earning more than Rs 40,000 per month," he added.
According to the report, the teachers who have been fired are finding it difficult to get another job.
“There is no vacancy for teaching staff in engineering colleges here," an associate professor from Chennai, who was among those sacked told the paper, adding that some colleges in Andhra Pradesh were trying to take advantage of the situation by offering jobs at half the pay.
Officials at the AICTE regional office in Chennai refused to comment.
The report also quoted a senior official from the state higher education department stating that out of the 2.73 lakh first-year engineering seats available in the state, more than 1.2 lakh seats went without takers last year.
The official added that records show that around 30 percent of engineering colleges have nearly two-thirds of their seats vacant. He blamed the drop in the admissions for the cut in the strength of the staff.