IIT teachers have demanded financial compensation apart from their basic salaries for the years they spend in higher learning and pursuing a PhD instead of working after undergraduation.
The teachers have suggested that the compensation either be provided as a fixed monthly allowance or as a percentage of their basic salary through a scheme existing in apex scientific research organisations.
This is the first time the IITs have specifically cited the higher qualifications their teachers require to join the faculty — unlike in most universities — to argue for better pay.
This demand was partly articulated in a memorandum submitted by the All India IIT Faculty Forum — a body elected by teachers at the premier engineering schools — to the human resource development ministry on Monday.
Faculty sources confirmed that an additional document explaining this new request would be submitted to the ministry soon.
Faculty across the IITs are protesting against a new pay regime notified by the government, which snips salaries recommended by a central pay panel and ignores a slew of other incentives suggested by the panel. The Telegraph had reported the new pay regime on August 18.
The University Grants Commission allows those who have cleared a National Eligibility Test — or its state equivalents — to conditionally join university faculty if they have enrolled for a PhD, before its completion.
A PhD, however, is the minimum qualification for anyone joining the IITs at the lowest regular teaching post on offer — that of an assistant professor. IIT faculty are arguing that they should be compensated for the financial loss they suffer because of the delay in their joining the workforce.
In their memorandum, the faculty have calculated what they argue is the financial loss a youngster studying to teach at an IIT would suffer, as compared to joining a central government job.
On an average, a student takes six years — two years for postgraduation and four years for a PhD — after his undergraduation to become eligible to teach at an IIT. On the other hand, he can join the government immediately after completing his undergraduation.
During their postgraduation and PhD, scholars are paid a study allowance but this amount is significantly lower than what they could have earned if they joined the government.
Source: The Telegraph