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Pay punch to IIMs and IITs - Govt-approved increments less than what panel had recommended

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  • Published 19.08.09

New Delhi, Aug. 18: The Centre has snipped the annual increments recommended for teachers at the IITs and IIMs under a new pay regime, shuffling existing hierarchies in a move that could trigger a protracted protest from faculty members.

The revised annual increments approved by the cabinet on August 7 for faculty at India’s apex technical education institutions are lower than those proposed by a central review panel, The Telegraph has learnt.

The new salaries proposed by the central review team headed by former Indian Institute of Science director Goverdhan Mehta were already lower than what the institutes had demanded to tackle a crippling faculty shortage.

But the pay regime approved by the cabinet — based on finetuning of the Goverdhan Mehta report by an inter-ministerial committee — further reduced the financial benefits proposed for teachers.

In absolute terms, the new pay regime hikes starting salaries at each teaching post for the IITs and IIMs by around 150 per cent. But the salaries were last set in 1999 and teachers are unlikely to accept the new hierarchies the new regime creates.

As a sense of the new pay regime started drifting in on IIT and IIM campuses today, faculty associations met to prepare strategies to protest what they argue is “disrespect” to their service.

Senior faculty members told this newspaper that they may try to meet HRD minister Kapil Sibal in a bid to convince him to take a fresh look at the pay structure before it is notified. The ministry is likely to issue the notification of the new pay regime around August 20.

“If this is what the cabinet has approved, the government is effectively saying that they do not care about retaining the best faculty at the IITs and IIMs,” the head of the faculty association of one of the IITs said.

The new regime hits the National Institutes of Technology, the Indian Institutes of Information Technology and the Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad ever harder.

The NITs had demanded pay parity with the IITs, IIITs and ISM — where salaries are already higher than those of university teachers because of the greater market demand for teachers of technical courses. Instead, the NITs will receive the pay prescribed by the University Grants Commission for varsity teachers.

Existing faculty at IIITs and the ISM Dhanbad will continue to receive salaries on a par with the IITs and IIMs under the new regime. New teachers at these institutions will, however, receive salaries similar to UGC scales.

The Telegraph had reported on August 8 that the IIITs and ISM Dhanbad were to lose their current pay parity with the IITs and IIMs under the new regime.

But the new regime also alters existing pay hierarchies within the IITs and IIMs. At present, assistant professors receive salaries on a par with deputy registrars at these institutes while associate professors receive salaries on a par with registrars.

But under the new regime, assistant professors will receive lower pay than deputy registrars and associate professors less than registrars in a shuffle that one IIM professor described as “outrageously unfair”.

“Assistant professors and associate professors need to hold PhDs with first class scores in their research evaluation, apart from teaching experience. These are significantly higher qualifications than those required for administrative jobs,” the professor complained.

The IIMs had demanded that their directors receive a fixed salary of Rs 90,000 a month. The new regime doles out Rs 80,000 a month for directors at the IITs, IIMs, the Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research, IISc in Bangalore and the National Institute of Industrial Engineering.

Directors at the NITs, IIITs and ISM Dhanbad will receive Rs 75,000 a month, along with a special allowance of Rs 5,000 -- a salary on a par with university vice-chancellors. The special allowance is not considered while calculating benefits like the dearness allowance.