Human resource ministry revised controversial pay scales for IIT and IIM

The human resource development ministry has revised controversial pay scales for IIT and IIM teachers, increasing salaries for assistant professors but ignoring other key demands and bypassing the Union cabinet that approved the contentious regime.
The revised pay notification, issued by the ministry late today evening, allows assistant professors to leap into a higher pay range after three years, but is silent on other demands made by teachers.

Assistant professors were entitled to a starting salary of Rs 30,000 a month with a rank-based increment of Rs 8,000 a month, under the contentious notification issued on August 18.Under the revised notification, assistant professors will jump to a starting salary of Rs 37,400 a month with a rank-based increment - called the academic grade pay - of Rs 9,000 a month three years from now.The revised notification was issued without approaching the cabinet which had earlier approved the contentious pay regime that had triggered unprecedented protests on campuses across the IITs, top government sources told the The Telegraph.
The ministry, sources said, had initially planned to approach the cabinet with the proposed revisions to pay scales, but later concluded that it could make the amendments without approaching the Prime Minister’s council.

The revised notification will, however, increase government expenditure on salaries significantly.“The revised notification fails to meet most of our demands. We are also surprised that the cabinet has been bypassed,” Dr M. Thenmozhi, IIT Madras management professor and president of the All India IIT Faculty Federation said.Faculty at each of the IITs will independently hold general body meetings tomorrow to decide on how they will approach the revised notification, Thenmozhi said.
Teachers across the IITs, for the first time in the over 50-year history of these institutions, boycotted classes and held protest marches on their campuses against the contentious August 18 notification.

The IIMs have also joined the IITs in their protest, and submitted memoranda to the ministry.The IIT and IIM faculty have argued that there is a mismatch between repeated government claims of concern over a crippling faculty shortage at these apex institutions, and the absence of attempts to address this concern.The new pay regime this year comes 10 years after the salary scales were last revised for IIT and IIM faculty. These institutes have over the past decade lost hundreds of faculty to better paying jobs in industry, private engineering and management institutions and foreign universities.

Apart from a pay hike for assistant professors, the IITs and the IIMs are demanding better remuneration for fresh entrants into the teaching profession - to attract young PhD scholars.They are also demanding that the ministry lift a cap it has placed on the percentage of professors eligible to a higher academic grade pay. The faculty are demanding a performance-related incentive scheme in recognition of their research work.

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