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Sunday, October 25, 2009

IIT faculty relents for now, accepts govt pay scales

Disappointed by the outcome of the IIT Council meeting that failed to even discuss the outstanding concerns of the faculty, the IIT Federation today decided to lower its guard for now in the interest of the institutes at large.
Meeting in the capital today to discuss the future course of action, the federation for the first time asked the IIT faculty across India to accept government pay scales for the time being and wait for HRD Minister Kapil Sibal to fulfil the assurances made on the fronts of autonomy and salary appraisal.
“We are hugely disappointed by the fact that the IIT Council did not even discuss our concerns. We will now wait for the individual boards of governors of IITs to take up our issues at the earliest. In the meantime, we have asked the IIT faculty to accept the sixth Pay Commission recommendations that come into effect from 2006. The decision is meant to secure the larger interest of the faculty and IIT system,” Prof M Thenmozhi, federation president, told The Tribune. However, they were keeping all options open, he added.
The federation would wait for some more time for the government to act on its promises. “The HRD Minister gave us several assurances. We hope he fulfils them at the earliest. But that is not to say that we have given up our struggle for better pay scales. We will wait and watch, but we do wish that the government had treated us better,” said Thenmozhi.
The federation is keen that the government should put all its verbal assurances into writing. Meanwhile, its appeal to the IIT faculty to accept the sixth Pay Commission salary is extremely significant as it reflects the federation’s willingness to relent from the path of agitation, at least for now.
It may be recalled that the federation had called off its two-month strike for autonomy and better pay scales following Sibal’s assurances. Though the minister said his promises should be deemed to have been “minuted”, the IIT faculty wants him to make a written commitment.

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