Two committees will be set up to look into some of the major concerns expressed by the faculty members of the coveted Indian Institutes of Technology regarding their pay packages approved by the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development.
After meeting Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal on Friday, the directors of six IITs met the All India IIT Faculty Federation at IIT-Delhi here on Saturday to discuss the way forward.
“We have decided to set up two committees. The first one will decide the criteria of excellence for upgrading of a professor from lower academic grade pay to higher academic grade pay. The second one will work out how the performance related incentive scheme should be implemented across all the IITs in the country,” IIT-Delhi Director Surendra Prasad told reporters after the meeting.
The committees will comprise six to eight members who will be the representatives of different IITs, and will take the views of the Faculty Federation on these issues.
“The names of the members of these committees will be finalised soon. The first committee will come out with its report in about six weeks. The one on the performance related scheme may take longer as it involves a lot of things,” added Prof. Prasad.
The IIT faculty members had observed a day-long fast late last month in protest against some clauses in the Ministry notification on their pay package, most significant being the 40 per cent cap on the professors who can be promoted to the senior grade.
The teachers also felt that the package lacked enough incentives to attract the faculty who play a crucial role in maintaining the IIT brand.
On the 40 per cent cap, IIT-Kanpur Director S.G. Dhande explained: “The flexible cadre structure within the IIT system remains. Let us first set up the process of devising the criteria of excellence, and then we can revisit the issue of this 40 per cent limit. At that time, we will see how many professors will meet the criteria.”
Satisfied with the “good progress” on the issue, president of the Faculty Federation M. Thenmozhi said the discussions with the IIT directors were “fruitful.”
S.S. Murthy, president of the IIT Delhi Faculty Forum, said though some of the major issues had been sorted out, some still remained “unresolved.”
“Those issues that are not in the hands of the IIT directors continue to be unresolved. The Govardhan Mehta Committee had recommended academic grade pay for IIT teachers. The Ministry had reduced this AGP by Rs. 500 at all levels. No justification was given for that. The faculty obviously feels it is an insult. It will be a great gesture if the Ministry can restore that,” said Prof. Murthy.
Another issue was relating to post-retirement medical facilities for IIT faculty members. Prof. Dhande assured that this matter would be discussed at the IIT Council meeting on October 19.