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IIT-Delhi keen on JNU’s STEM professors to strengthen roots

“There could be a dozen such people at JNU who have won some award in the past and come with rich academic resource, especially in the subjects relevant to IITs,” said a senior official familiar with this development. “These could be ideal candidates for the IIT.”

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Jan 18, 2020, 07.47 AM IST
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iit-d
The faculty-student ratio of 1:18 at IIT-D is nowhere close to the ideal level of 1:10.
New Delhi: Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi is sending feelers to the faculty at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) who may be looking for options outside the varsity roiled by continuing student protests.

IIT-Delhi believes several distinguished JNU faculty members in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects would be keen to join the institute.

“There could be a dozen such people at JNU who have won some award in the past and come with rich academic resource, especially in the subjects relevant to IITs,” said a senior official familiar with this development. “These could be ideal candidates for the IIT.”

The IIT and JNU didn’t respond to emails seeking comment until press time Friday.

The official said some JNU faculty members had shown interest in exploring opportunities at the engineering institute because of the continuing student protests on its campus.

There have been no classes at JNU for more than three months now because of the student protest against a fee hike. Some students and teachers’ bodies are also demanding the sacking of the vice-chancellor.
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At IIT-Delhi, there are about 630 faculty members for around 11,000 students, according to data from the institute. The faculty-student ratio of 1:18 is nowhere close to the ideal level of 1:10. This ratio is one of the parameters for global ranking of educational institutes.

More than 70% of JNU’s faculty members is in the non-STEM streams, such as humanities, arts and social science. The remaining members numbering over 100 are in the STEM stream, a senior JNU faculty member said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

“There is a process for recruitment at IITs and it usually takes about three to six months and at times even one year … The institute is targeting all the faculty members who are award winners at JNU and who are teaching experts in STEM subjects,” said the same official.

According to earlier media reports, IIT-Delhi director V Ramgopal Rao had written to faculty members in various departments of the IIT to encourage any distinguished JNU faculty members looking for options to consider joining the institute. Rao declined to comment when ET approached him for confirmation and sought details on the mail sent on December 19.

“Some colleagues at JNU have expressed that the current atmosphere in the campus is not ideal for research work,” said Ramakrishna Ramaswamy, a visiting faculty at IIT-Delhi’s chemistry department who had retired from JNU in 2018.
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