For the first time, around 15,000 teachers of prestigious IITs across the country went on a hunger strike on the issue of pay structure on Thursday but did not boycott classes.

The All India IIT Faculty Federation went on the strike after their charter of demands, including withdrawal of 40 per cent cap on promotion of professors to senior grade, did not elicit response from the HRD Ministry.

The teachers of the elite institutes went ahead with the protest as HRD Minister Kapil Sibal rejected the demands of the faculty for withdrawal of 40 per cent cap on promotion of professors to senior grade.

“We had asked for a meeting with the HRD Ministry representatives on the issue. But there is no response. Hence, we went on with the agitation,” Federation president Prof M Thenmozi of IIT-Madras told PTI.

Mr. Sibal had said the government wants to give more freedom to the over dozen institutes provided they come up with futuristic vision to achieve excellence.

“IITs are brand institutes. We respect them. We want to give them more freedom to achieve excellence. If they discuss their vision plan, we are ready to give them more autonomy,” he said.

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