New Delhi: Lack of infrastructure and a massive shortage of teaching staff could throw a spanner in the works as the government tries to implement the recently enacted 10% quota in education for economically weaker sections.

Authorities at central education institutions including central universities, IITs and IIMs, believe that though there is a political and regulatory direction to abide by the new decision, neither the human resource development ministry nor the university grants commission has explained how to implement it without enough teaching staff and the inadequate infrastructure.

“We are now building two extension centres outside Delhi to manage the students capacity and increase research focus. This EWS (economically weaker sections) quota will enhance student strength by 25%. How will we accommodate this? IITs should be given at least a couple of years to implement the new quota," said a professor at IIT Delhi.

The professor, who asked not to be identified, said the situation is almost identical across IITs and they may jointly as well as individually write to the ministry seeking clarifications on when and how to implement the EWS scheme.

A Jawaharlal Nehru University professor, who also requested anonymity, said while the higher education regulator wants to reduce PhD students intake to improve the teacher-student ratio, the new quota will increase intake by 25%. “Already central universities are facing a significant faculty crunch and it will be tough to implement the EWS quota smoothly," he said.

As per official data, central universities have a sanctioned strength of 17,092 faculty members of which 5,606 are vacant—an overall shortage of over 30%. When it comes to university specific data, the shortfall is even worse. In Delhi University, the shortage of professors is almost 60%—as against 264 positions of professors, DU has a shortage of 157. Similarly, DU has a shortage of 412 associate professors - 63% as of January 2019. A spokesperson of the HRD ministry said, “Whenever there has been an increase in the intake, government has always provided funds..."