Saturday, September 28, 2013

IIM-Ahmedabad petitions government on increasing faculty pay

The country's premier management institutes, led by Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A), have petitioned the government for higher compensation for faculty members across IIMs. "It's important to create an international brand through quality faculty and students," said AM Naik, Chairman, Board of Governors (BoGs), IIM-A, at a press meet in Ahmedabad on Saturday.

"You cannot pay them (teachers/faculty) less than the students," added Naik. The issue, he said, would be taken up by a team of 30-40 members for discussion to create a benchmark and constitute a structure that will allow better compensation for the faculties, once a green signal is given in the new parliamentary bill.

Six years ago, the Union Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) came up with Institutes of Management Bill for the country's premier B-schools. The bill, which will bring the IIMs under the purview of Parliament, is expected to be modeled on the Institutes of Technology Act, 1961.

"The quality of faculty has gone down in the past few years and has to be improved" says Naik. "So for improvement we first needed a captain and now as we have Nanda, we hope he would bring in such an improvement" added Naik. Professor Ashish Nanda, an IIM-A 1983 batch alumnus and professor at Harvard Law School, is the newly- appointed Director of IIM-Ahmedabad. He assumed office in the first week of September.

Prof. Nanda's appointed came after an intense hunt for a new director for nearly 10 months after the former director Samir Barura's tenure ended in November 2012. For the first time in its history, IIM-A advertised the post in an international publication seeking a candidate with global exposure.

Supporting Mr Naik's point of view, Prof. Nanda, said top-class faculty was needed for a world-class institute in the country. "If you want good professors, you have to give better packages (salary/compensation)" he said, adding that even after the government has geographically spread IIMs across India bringing the number to 13, things cannot improve unless best quality faculty are brought in. IIM-A intended to bring in the best brains with vast experience from India and abroad, he said.

Mr Naik gives said that on an average, the package received by an IIM-A graduate is about Rs. 1.9 million per annum, while for the top 10 students it ranges between Rs. 6 million and Rs. 10 million per annum. On the other hand, a professor earns Rs. 600,000 to 700,000 per annum. Such a disparity of income, where a teacher enables a student to earn more than his/her own compensation at a fresher stage, discourages the best brains from joining the educational stream, Naik said.

Asked how the IIMs, especially IIM-A would be able to support the higher compensation for their faculty in case the recommendation for higher compensation is accepted, Mr Nanda said the institute would adopt a multi-pronged strategy to raise funds, via student fees, including new programmes, through alumni and donor funds.

Source: The Economic Times (Online Edition), September 28, 2013

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