IIT, IIM dons reject pay scale, autonomy

Cap on promotion of professors irks faculty


A joint charter demanding better pay scale and greater autonomy has been prepared by faculties from both premier institutions, which they plan to hand over to HRD Minister Kapil Sibal. “It’s the first time professors from both institutions are sitting together to discuss the Sixth Pay Commission and what it implies to us,” said Bharat Sheth, a Professor at IIT Mumbai.

The faculty council of IIM-A, which had met in Ahmedabad on Saturday, had opposed the proposed pay structure and has asked the institute’s director to delay its implementation by a month until they decide further course of action.

“The council has termed the ministry’s proposals infringement on academic freedom,” a senior faculty council member and IIM-A professor said after the council’s meeting.
Disappointed over the ministry response to a joint memorandum given by IIT and IIM faculties for pay hike, the IIM-A council has decided to discuss the issue with the other premier institutions, including IISc, Bangalore.

Dr Sheth insisted that autonomy, flexibility and hiring remain a greater concern for the professors than pay hike. “Institutions like NITs and IISc are also affected and we are having discussions with them,” he said. He said the unhappiness is mainly due to the HRD ministry’s attempt to micro-manage the Centrally Funded Technical Institutions (CFTIs), calling the ministry’s plans “very detrimental” to their future.

The HRD ministry has recently come out with a fresh notification on the pay structure of CFTIs which said that the post of lecturer-cum-post -doctoral fellows will be re-designated as assistant professor. It stated that they would be appointed on contract basis. However, the 40 per cent cap it laid on promoting professors to senior grade on the basis of performance, has created widespread anger amongst faculties of IIM-A.
“The notification that prescribes limit to the number of professors that can exist as a proportion of the professor in the institute drawing the highest grade pay, is totally uncalled for,” a senior faculty council member said.  “Promotion of professors should be strictly merit-based, irrespective of the number of professors existing in a particular pay grade,” he said.

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