Anjali Prayag

Bangalore, Dec. 5

With FDI in education looming large over the campus scene in the country, it may be the turn of NRI "gurus" to start queuing up for their "return" tickets.

"Like engineers, scientists and doctors, we will see a large number of expat Indian professors taking the homeward route," says Prof T.R. Venkatesh, Director, ICFAI, Business School, Bangalore.

With the coming of foreign universities, there will be a "pressure" to acquire teaching talent, and universities in India will be greatly hit.

"But we will have to follow the Chinese example, which faced a similar situation a few years ago. They tackled it partially by luring expat Chinese professors with attractive salaries and research opportunities," he said.

Shortage of faculty

Academicians across the country have already raised the faculty shortage issue, often quoting startling "deficit" numbers.

The IITs, for instance, are falling short of faculty by 30 per cent and IIMs by 8-10 per cent.

"And most universities have stopped recruitment for the last couple of years because of lack of funds and they may see major exits when FDI in education is allowed," says Prof Venkatesh.

"There will definitely be a large number of Indian faculty returning from various universities abroad," predicts Mr Anand Sudarshan, Group President of Manipal Universal Learning.

In fact, Manipal Academy of Higher Education recently roped in Dr Rajasekharan Warrier, Professor and Vice-Chairman of Paediatrics at Louisiana State University, as its Vice-Chancellor.

Mr E. Balaji, Executive Director, Staffing Solutions, Ma Foi, says that Indian institutes already have visiting professors from across the world.

Several well-known `gurus' have lent their names to Indian institutes of higher education.

"If these colleges get their business model right and express a long-term commitment here, then getting competent Indian teachers from abroad shouldn't pose any problems," he said.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated December 6, 2006)
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