With faculty from across the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT)
calling off lectures and threatening dire consequences like mass resignation, the Centre has sat up and promised to revisit the pay structure it formulated for IIT teachers.
On Friday, HRD minister Kapil Sibal said his officials would take a look at the salary offered to faculty and rework the pay structure if need be.
Sibal said the problem was that though at the entry level, IIT teachers get more salary, selection for the next promotion, unlike the UGC system where it is automatic, results in disparity. “We will look into it,” he said.
On their part, IIT professors continued their protest.
At IITMadras, faculty stayed away from classes on Friday and IIT-Bombay teachers refused to conduct lectures on Monday. The Union government recently announced pay scales for faculty at centrally-funded technical institutes but declared a salary structure lower than what was recommended by the Govardhan Mehta Committee, set up to decide pay scales for staff at central institutes.
“The pay scales are almost as much as the UGC scales. For us, equal measure is laid on our academic duties and research work. The government has not taken the hard work we put in into consideration,” said Soumyo Mukherji, secretary of the faculty forum at IIT-B.
For instance, whether a professor is employed in a state university or at the IITs, he/she is place in pay band 4, which ranges from Rs 37,400 to Rs 67,000, the only difference being that of the academic grade pay (AGP), on lines with grade pay for government employees.
While AGP for state university professors recommended by the UGC stands at Rs 10,000, the same is Rs 10,500 for those in IIT. “We are competing against American universities to attract talent. With such pay scales, we cannot expect any top rate teacher to join the IITs,” said S Bhat, president of the faculty forum.
The IITs had demanded that faculty members be given an incentive for research as well as for upgrading their professional skills, but the final announcement omitted all these recommendations.
Source: Economic Times