More IIT teachers join protest against pay

In a memorandum submitted to the Human Resource Development Ministry, the All India IIT Faculty Federation, the teachers’ organisation spearheading the movement, has also threatened to go on mass hunger strike from Teachers Day (September 5), if the notification for the new pay structure is not withdrawn. Hundreds of faculty members of the prestigious institutions in Bombay and Roorkee went on mass casual leave on Monday. Teachers in Kanpur, Kharagpur and Chennai had also followed suit.

“There is fear and uncertainty among the IIT teachers about the new pay scale being proposed by the Human Resources Development Ministry,” said Sunil Pandey, president of the All India IIT Faculty Federation. The very fact that their salaries have been brought at par with what teachers of other institutions get was not acceptable to the teachers of the IITs.

Lose out
Although the IIT professors start at a higher pay, they might lose out to their colleagues in other institutions, who would be in a better position after the implementation of the new UGC pay scale. Thus a university assistant professor could be earning more than his IIT colleague at after teaching for three years. The IITs have some 2,500 teachers on their rolls.

The federation has also appealed to President Pratibha Patil, who is also the Visitor of the IITs, apart from the Prime Minister’s Office to withdraw the new pay regime. They  argue that downgrading pay packages at a time when the IITs are plagued with shortage of efficient faculty will spell doom for these much-in-demand institutions.

HRD Minister Kapil Sibal said his officials will take a look at the salary offered to the faculty and ,if needed, rework the pay structure. Though at the entry level the 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 added.

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