Why most teachers have little time for research

Most universities assign three types of duties to faculty members, which are teaching courses, conducting research, and performing administrative duties. Ideally, there should be some flexibility in how professors want to use their time between the three tasks, but the reality is somewhat different. Many academics complain about the long working hours, not because they are engaged in quality research, but get bogged down in all kinds of administrative tasks and other activities.
everyday tasks
From markup attendance in various formats, duplication of work due to the need to make both hard and soft copies, and extensive documentation for course files and student performance, the list of “administrative jobs” is endless. Weekends are spent catching up with backlogs that make it impossible to focus on any meaningful research. With little or no research publications in reputable journals, the faculty package and the PhD are being overhauled.
hindering progress
A senior professor at a technical institute says on the condition of anonymity that scientists often get caught up in routine administrative processes, making research seem like a burden. “The rules have been tightened in recent years and government money is becoming increasingly difficult to spend. For example, the government insists on keeping individual accounts for each project, which increases bureaucracy in the institutions. According to the new standards, all projects will be routed through a single Treasury account at the bank, making the process more cumbersome. Because the import of expensive equipment into India is restricted, researchers – including academics – will repeatedly have to request permission from the ministry to access this equipment. That is why the purchase of research equipment is now almost a year long.” A faculty will have to spend much of its time navigating these processes.
Multiple roles
Continuing to talk about faculty pressure, Ravi Ranjan, Professor, Department of Political Science, Zakir Husain Delhi College, University of Delhi (DU), says: “In government institutions, although there is sufficient work pressure, the teachers teach according to the UGC standards in which the teaching hours are time-bound. This gives them enough time for research, but with the implementation of FYUP, the administrative burden may increase in the near future. The private institutions, on the other hand, may not often follow UGC standards, which calls for the creation of a strong committee to prevent exploitation of faculties and keep them working longer than the stipulated time. Throughout the year, the faculty is entangled in responsibilities such as admissions duties, advising, fee collection, publication of results, and cultural events, leaving them little time to prepare for their classes. The faculty does not have good research facilities on campus and even the relationship between lecturers is skewed.”
Ravi Ranjan, points out that due to the synchronization between the university department and college department at DU, the faculty is upgraded with new knowledge; they also have time to visit libraries and labs, which is often not the case with many private entities, he adds.
Academics like Saikat Mazumdarprofessor of English and Creative writingHowever, Ashoka University is one of the lucky few who does not have to undergo the trials and tribulations. Saikat has long been used to the Stanford education model and explains: “Our main goal is to publish, research and write more books. We are mainly seen as writers, scientists or intellectuals; teaching is like a second job. We have to spend six hours teaching in a week, while five days can be used for research and publication. And even the PhD supervision that we do has no fixed hours. There are no bureaucratic structures imposed on us from outside, because we have the freedom to shape things the way we want,” he adds.
Affiliated with academics
As long as the administrative duties of a faculty are linked to academics, i.e. conducting assessment and evaluation, student mentoring, study progress analysis, internships, etc. as defined by the UGC, AICTEit can lead to productive results, says Suja Bennetdean-Academics, CMR University where there is a clear division of the workload by means of TRCPIE — Education(T), Research(R), Consultancy(C), Projects(P), Innovation(I) and Entrepreneurship(E). Faculties have the choice to choose the components of the TRCPIE workload based on their domain, interests, experience and previous achievements.
Suja emphasizes that faculties have a diverse experience and expertise and says: “Institutions should reward/motivate the faculty for authentic research output, in addition to facilitating faculty internships/consultancy, thereby raising awareness in the industry. Facilitating collaborations with national and international universities for faculty exchange programs can further improve their work culture.”

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