Tuesday, September 22, 2009

IIT professors protest - to teach on empty stomach

The faculty of premier Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) all over the country will teach but on an empty stomach on September 24 in protest against the pay revision announced by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) on September 16. But their protest has not gone down well with the IIT directors who label it as an “ego issue”. The matter seems to have hit a logjam.

On September 25, a meeting between IIT faculty and directors has been called to sort out the issue. “The IIT faculty is raising ego-based issues not data-based issues. They want the moon,” one IIT director said. The All India IIT Faculty Federation (AIIITFF), however, says their protest is not about money. “There is a big misconception about our protest,” one IIT-Bombay faculty member said. In fact, the teachers point out that the pay commission recommendations have gone beyond the mandate and “infringe on the autonomy” of IITs.

“We have a flexible cadre system that cannot accept regulations on the number of people hired at any level. Specifications such as 10% of the total faculty has to be hired at the level of ‘assistant professors on contract’, only 40% of professors with six years of experience at that level can advance to the next academic grade pay (AGP), etc. go against this spirit and cannot be accepted,” AIIITFF said in a statement. “How is it about money?” one faculty member asked. But one IIT director said, “There is no way that autonomy of IITs can be affected by the government order. Every professor in IIT has enough independence.” It is also pointed out that the faculty bypassed the directors and directly approached HRD minister Kapil Sibal.

AIIITFF has also pointed out that there is an open selection policy for all advancements in career, wherein the candidates are judged on academic criteria like teaching effectiveness, sponsored/consultancy projects undertaken, masters and PhD thesis guidance, research publications and corporate responsibilities. “Those who meet the criteria advance to the next level.” There is no space for defining in advance limits to how many people can be promoted, AIIITFF said.

In a somewhat related development, the Board of Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad will meet on September 25 to take a decision on the implementation of a new government order on pay structure that has been opposed by the faculty members, sources said. The IIM-A faculty council during its meeting held on Saturday had opposed the government order on pay revision and asked IIM-A director Samir Barua to delay its implementation by a month.

Source: The Times of India

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Archive