Out of the 16,692 sanctioned posts, 6251 teaching posts are lying vacant.

"UGC recently wrote to all central universities to give topmost priority for identifying the causes for the vacancies and make concerted efforts to fill up the vacancies as per UGC norms, at an early date to ensure that the teaching work of the university is not affected," HRD Minister Smriti Irani said in a written reply.

The issue was also discussed prominently in the conference of the vice chancellors of central universities on February six and seven under the chairmanship of the President, in which they were exhorted to fill up the vacancies in a timebound manner.

"As a follow-up, the Ministry has written to all VCs to implement the decision on a priority and to furnish an action taken report to the Ministry," she said.

The minister said a task force, constituted under the chairmanship of Sanjay G Dhande to recommend measures for alleviating shortage of qualified faculty in July 2011, had said that shortage of qualified faculty in state and central universities was to the extent of roughly 40 and 35 percent respectively.

The shortage was to the extent of 25 percent and 40 percent in deemed universities and affiliated colleges, the Minister said.

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