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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Sibal hints at pay relook - Minister ready to lend ear to IIT, IIM faculty

New Delhi, Aug. 21: The government is willing to address concerns raised by IIT and IIM faculty over a controversial new pay regime opposed by teachers at the premier institutions, human resource development minister Kapil Sibal said today.
“I am certainly willing to listen to their concerns. I may call a meeting with my officials to consider any problems (with the new pay scales),” Sibal said, in response to a question at a news briefing.
His statement came on a day when teachers at IIT Kharagpur and IIT Madras stayed away from classes in protest against the new pay regime that they said was “disrespectful”.
The IITs are expected to collectively submit a memorandum to Sibal through their directors, who are expected to discuss the concerns raised by their faculty at a meeting in Chennai on Sunday.
As reported first in The Telegraph — on August 19 and 20 — the new pay scales cleared by the cabinet snipped annual increments proposed by a central panel set up to revise salaries.
The new pay regime also ignores a slew of incentives proposed by the central panel under former Indian Institute of Science director Goverdhan Mehta to attract fresh teachers and retain the best faculty at the institutes.
The IITs and the IIMs face a faculty shortage of between 20 and 30 per cent, many of their best teachers lured away by better salary offers in industry or foreign education institutions.
Sibal, his predecessor Arjun Singh, and several other government officials have repeatedly dubbed the faculty shortage a major problem plaguing these institutes.

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