3,000 IIT members wear black badges for salary hikes delay

Around 3,000 faculty members across the Indian Institutes of Technology are expected to wear black badges at work in a rare public display of frustration at repeated delays in promised salary hikes.

A government panel under the former Indian Institute of Science director, Goverdhan Mehta, recommended a raise for the faculty at apex technical institutions like the IITs and the IIMs in early February.

But six months later, the government is yet to approve any hike in teacher pay at these institutes.

Professor Kanchan Chowdhury, president of IIT Kharagpur Teachers’ Association, said, “We will try to ensure that the student community does not suffer. Being responsible teachers, we are in a difficult situation to press hard for our demands.”
At its last meeting on July 24 the All India IIT Faculty Federation (AIIITFF) resolved to take recourse to several expressions of protest such as wearing black armbands/badges and mass if the government continued to ignore the plight of the IIT faculty.
“Even while deciding on a course of action like mass casual leave, we are trying to work out something so that students’ academic losses are compensated,” Chowdhury said.
The seven IITs - New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Guwahati and Roorkee - have cl-ose to 35,000 students.

But even in their protest today, the IIT faculty will show what makes them different from teachers at several other Indian universities. They will take classes as usual wearing a black badge of protest on their shirt pocket.

On August 1, the All India IIT Faculty Federation - the conglomeration of bodies representing teachers at each IIT - met at IIT Delhi and decided on the protest against the delay in their pay hike.

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