The IIMs protest against a controversial new pay regime

The IIMs plan to cite the government’s roadmap for their expansion to demand better faculty salaries, joining the IITs in the protest against a controversial new pay regime notified by the Centre. India’s premier B-schools are finalising a memorandum protesting the new pay structure, which they will submit to the human resource development ministry, institute sources said.

The note, currently being discussed by the directors of the seven IIMs, demands pays a notch higher than even the pay demanded by the IITs and seeks autonomy to provide additional incentives to teachers. It warns that failure to incorporate the demands can jeopardise expansion plans and attempts to fill a potentially crippling faculty shortage.

The move increases the pressure on Kapil Sibal’s ministry to review a new pay structure that the IITs and the IIMs argue fails to address their inability to attract the best brains to teaching.

The government and Sibal have repeatedly cited the 20-30 per cent faculty shortage at the IITs and the IIMs as the biggest challenge these institutes are facing.

But teachers at the institutes are arguing that the new “unsatisfactory” pay regime fails to address this concern - by neither providing recommended salaries nor offering compensatory incentives.

The new pay regime snips salaries recommended by a central panel and ignores a slew of other proposed incentives to tackle the lure of industry-level salaries.

The IIMs plan to cite the report of an HRD ministry panel under Maruti chairman R.C. Bhargava which argued that low pay placed them at a disadvantage while battling domestic and global competition for scarce faculty resources.

The Bhargava panel’s report - aimed at preparing a blueprint for the expansion of existing IIMs - had ironically been criticised by the institutes as an attempt by the government to encroach on their identity and autonomy.

By citing this, the IIMs are politely pointing out that the ministry’s own report argues for a “significant improvement” in the pay scales for their faculty.

“The IIM faculty feel that the revised pay scales notified by the ministry... do not represent any meaningful or significant improvement over the existing pay scales,” the draft memorandum says.

The new pay regime grants assistant professors a starting salary of Rs 30,000 a month, and an academic grade pay - a rank-based increment - of Rs 8,000 a month.

The IITs have demanded that - as is the case with pay for university assistant professors - the salary structure be shifted to a higher pay band after three years. Salaries in the higher band start at Rs 37,400 a month with a grade pay of Rs 9,000 a month.

The IIMs will demand in their memorandum assistant professors start at the higher pay band straight away. The IITs want this after three years. Like the IITs, the draft IIM memorandum demands a grade pay of Rs 10,000 a month for associate professors - instead of the Rs 9,500 under the newly notified regime.

The IIMs too - like the IITs - will demand that a 40 per cent cap placed under the new regime on professors entitled to a higher pay be lifted.

All professors should be given a grade pay of Rs 12,000 a month instead of the Rs 10, 500 provided under the notified regime, the IIM draft memorandum demands.

It also demands that professors after 10 years in the post be entitled to a higher salary range - starting at Rs 75, 000 a month.

Each IIM should be allowed to devise its own incentive schemes for faculty, instead of the government notification binding the institutes, the IIMs are demanding.

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