NEW DELHI

Two committees to look into major concerns of IIT faculty

Parul Sharma

NEW DELHI: Two committees will be set up to look into some of the major concerns expressed by faculty members of the Indian Institutes of Technology over their pay package approved by the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development.

After meeting 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 a professor from lower 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.

The committees will comprise 6-8 members who will be the representatives of the 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,” Prof. Prasad added.

Protest

The IIT faculty members observed a day-long fast last month in protest against some clauses in the Ministry notification on their pay package, the most significant being the 40 per cent cap on 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% cap, IIT-Kanpur Director S.G. Dhande said: “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 40% limit issue. At that time, we will see how many professors meet the criteria.”

S.S. Murthy, president of the IIT Delhi Faculty Forum, said though some of the major issues had been sorted out, others 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,” he said.