With 2,269 vacancies, the IITs currently have one teacher for every 16 students.
As much as 36 per cent of sanctioned posts of faculty members are vacant across eight prominent Indian Institutes of Technology, a reply under the Right to Information has revealed.
IITs Bombay, Delhi, Guwahati, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Madras, Roorkee and Varanasi currently have 65,824 students, but only 4,049 teachers against 6,318 approved posts.
The information was probided by the human resource development ministry in response to a query by Neemuch-based RTI activist Chandrashekhar Gaur.
Thus, with 2,269 vacancies, these IITs currently have one teacher for every 16 students.
IIT Varanasi, where 5,485 students are enrolled, has the worst shortfall, the reply revealed.
Against 548 sanctioned posts of teachers, it has 265 faculty members, which means 52 per cent of posts are vacant.
"The number of IITs in the country has reached 23 now. It is worrisome that these eight major and among the oldest IITs are still facing a teacher shortage," says educationist and career adviser Jayantilal Bhandari. "If these institutions are facing this situation, one can guess what would be the situation at newer IITs."
According to the HRD ministry data, IIT Kharagpur, which has a student strength of 11,703, has 647 faculty positions filled in and 552 posts vacant against an approved faculty strength of 1,199, resulting in 46 per cent posts being vacant.
Similarly, IIT Roorkee has 7,561 students and has 437 faculty against vacant posts of 319 which are yet to be filled in.
The obtained data also shows IIT Kanpur has 37 per cent posts vacant (410 positions filled and 242 positions vacant), IIT Delhi 29 per cent (549 positions filled and 227 positions vacant), IIT Madras 28 per cent (573 positions filled and 227 positions vacant), IIT Bombay 27 per cent (738 positions filled and 279 positions vacant) and IIT Guwahati has 25 per cent (430 positions filled and 140 positions vacant).
Reportage: Press Trust of India. Additional Research: Aslam Hunani. Production: Ashish Narsale