Can a university afford to operate a one of its kind B.Tech programme in the entire State for 23 years with just one teacher? Apparently, it is possible in Telangana. The textile technology division of University College of Technology(UCT), Osmania University, the only college in State that offers B.Tech, M.Tech and Ph.D in textile technology but has been functioning with just a single permanent faculty since 1997. The division has 80 B.Tech students and about five M.Tech students.

Telangana government has developed Textile and Apparel Incentive scheme in 2017, a business policy specially for textile industries, laid foundation for a ‘mega textile park’ in Warangal and recently granted some tailor-made benefits to a multinational textile company to establish its unit in the State. However, the government does not seem to be bothered about the only textile technology programme being offered in the state in OU.

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Textile technology division of UCT is not even recognised as a separate department but it is just a course under Department of Technology in UCT, headed by the only permanent faculty, Dr J Hayavadana and is supported by four contract teachers, who are pursuing their Ph.D in the department. Lack of recognition as a department and having just a single permanent faculty has various ramifications. Most impacting of which is lack of access to research and infrastructure-development grants from agencies like All India Council for Technical Education(AICTE), Department of Science and Technology(DST) and University Grants Commission(UGC).

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Usually a minimum strength of six permanent faculty members is required, including a professor, two associate professors and four assistant professors, for granting funds for research projects from the funding agencies. But the department lacks the criteria. Moreover, the textile technology division cannot ask for financial grants independently and funds have to be sought through the Department of Technology(DoT). On top of it, the funds DoT receives is divided between textile technology, food technology and chemical engineering divisions, of which chemical engineering receives the most funds as it consists of large number of students.

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Speaking to KhabarLive, Dr Hayavadana said, in other states like Maharashtra, eight textile institutions receive almost `1 crore each from the government. “However, as we are a ‘section’ of the UCT, we cannot apply for various grants,” he said. #KhabarLive