Union Minister for Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar (pictured above) on Wednesday announced that the Centre had hired 1,215 highly-qualified graduates to teach and improve the quality of engineering education in “backward areas of the country”.

More than 5,000 students, including many from National Institutes of Technology and Indian Institutes of Technology, replied to the public appeal for teachers, Javadekar said.

The decision was prompted by a significant number of vacancies in these institutions, with several colleges reporting 40% unoccupied posts, a statement said. The ministry has hired the graduates as a temporary measure to address the lack of well-qualified teachers in these areas.

The recruitment was part of the Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme that is an initiative of the National Project Implementation Unit. The unit implements World Bank Assisted Projects in Technical Education.

The students will teach at 53 institutes in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Assam, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Tripura, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

The ministry will pay the newly hired faculty Rs 70,000 per month in an initiative that is estimated to cost the government Rs 375 crore over the next three years. More than 1 lakh engineering students will benefit from this initiative, the statement said.