Sunday, September 27, 2009

One more post

..on pay scales. I have been receiving some emails requesting me to write my views on the "assistant professor on contract (apoc)" and pay scales based on the current notification. I have been refraining from doing so because some of the faculty (iitmsriram, kaushal, for example) who have commented on my previous posts are more knowledgable than me in terms of salaries, comparison to UGC etc. But I thought I will write what I think on this issue of the pay scales themselves.

First, what I do not believe in. That the IITs do not need to do anything because the attrition rate in IITs is nearly zero. It is certainly not correct in many departments, especially in electrical sciences (EE/ECE/CS/IT) departments. Many good people do not even bother to apply looking at the starting pay and nearly 10% who join these departments leave within the first two years. The number of vacancies in almost all IITs is more than 25% of the faculty sanctioned strength because of the low pay.

What are the salaries? According to the table, for an assistant professor on contract i.e., with no postdoc experience, it would start at 37,000 + accommodation. A regular assistant professor will get 52,000 + accommodation and will move to 62,000 + accommodation after three years. In addition, they are other benefits. This includes telephone allowance, academic allowances, children education allowance, subsidy for single girl child, leave travel concession for the whole family every year,medical benefits to the family, travel money for attending conferences etc.

In addition, one can get fellowships that vary from Rs 60,000 to Rs 6 lakhs per year from DST/DBT, depending on the fellowships. Faculty can go abroad during the three month vacation every year and get paid in international currency. One can take sabbatical for one year every six years and get paid at both places. In addition, one can earn considerably from consultancy from industry (or even government labs) depending on the area they work in.

Any discussion on pay scales in India takes several routes. One argument is the PPP (purchase parity power). Assistant professor in India gets $1200 a month, so by PPP, it is nearly $6000 a month. PPP is based on a assorted variety of food, services and housing. The service component is extremely cheap and a professor can afford to have a driver for his car, have a maid and cook, which is impossible in the USA. On the other hand, the cost of food is not significantly different from the USA if one buys food and cooks. A cost of an independent house just outside IISc would cost you a crore of rupees ($250,000) and that is also similar to USA. Thus, one can have a driver, maid and cook but no house ! So, PPP arguments are flawed because the lifestyles in India and USA are different. One would probably stay in an 2-bedroom apartment and have a maid and cook rather than in a five bedroom independent house and have no help like in the USA. The other argument is the comparison with IAS officers, who after all decide the salaries of IITs/IISc. One becomes a professor when he/she is around 40-45 and will get 10,500 grade pay, which is very high compared to what an IAS officer of a comparable age makes. So, the salaries proposed look fair. The next is the comparison with minimum wages. The central government minimum wage is Rs. 5500 per month. An assistant professor on contract gets around Rs. 50,000 (including cost of accommodation) and thus is roughly 10 times the minimum wage. In the USA, the minimum wage is $1000 per month while an assistant professor in engineering makes $6000 per month, Thus, an assistant professor in India gets more times the minimum wages than what he would get in the USA. But the lifestyles are different because what can be bought for $1000 can not be bought for Rs. 5500.

However, all these arguments have flaws for the simple reason that no faculty candidate who is applying to IIT from abroad is going to compare himself with IAS officers or with minimum wage requirements or by PPP. One simply can not compare the quality of life between USA and India. One often decides to come back to India for other reasons. I believe that the benefit of living in one's motherland, close to family, friends, local culture and having a secure satisfying job can not be quantified in terms of money. This is at least true for me !

When one decides to come back, one often compares the salary one would get in the industry and compare it with what one would obtain in IITs. The salaries at IITs look pathetic, especially because we advertise only the basic and not even mention DA, allowances, grade pay etc. In my earlier posts in this blog, I have tried to present details of salary and benefits just for clarification. Thus, I feel that IITs have not at all marketed the positions well to inform the applicants of the benefits of working here. This has led to a curious case of wherein many faculty (but not all) in IIT/IISc are quite happy with the salaries (not that they will refuse more salary) but those who intend to join are shocked at the starting salaries, especially seeing only the basic salaries, and even refrain from applying.

What a faculty candidate is likely to look at what he can make in India in industry. In India, the salaries are the same for a professor of history, math, chemistry, chemical engineering, elextrical engineering, computer science, management and law. In the US, the salary will rise as you go up in the above order.

Therefore, salaries given by the government will never reflect the price of a faculty member (especially in electrical sciences) and will be significantly lower. The salaries that are given by the government have to be lesser than that offered to the top IAS officers (which is why the salary of the director of IITs are matched with the secretary of the government). Because the top salaries given to IAS officers have to be linked in some fashion (20 times or so) to the minimum wages and have to maintain parity across disparate sectors, one can not expect anything significantly different.


Therefore, what can be done? The Institutes need not "fight" with MHRD on the issue of assistant professor on contract, the 10% cap on this cadre, the 40% cap on the promotion of professors etc. All they need to do is to tell MHRD to change the wording to "It is suggested that assistant professors that are recruited have three years experience.." "It is suggested that around 10% of assistant professors are taken on contract and only 40% of professors be promoted to AGP of 12,000. However, the BoG of IITs/council of IISc can make exceptions for deserving cases..." Currently, in IISc, we recruit an assistant professor in chemistry only with three years of postdoc experience while we recruit an assistant professor in electrical engineering with one year of postdoc experience. Let the selection committee of that particular branch make the decision where one should be placed and there is no point in saying everyone should have three years experience. The number of increments in the current system was always decided by the selection committee and thus the practice can continue in that the selection committee can decide where one should be placed.

If one thinks that the contract system will be like the tenure system, it is not. Let us take a case of someone who joins IISc with 1.5 years of postdoc, he will be placed under contract for 1.5 years. Considering it takes atleast two years to set up a lab and write papers with students, one can not comment on the productivity (or the lack thereof) in the first two or even three years. Therefore, all people taken on contract will have to be confirmed. To judge scientific productivity, one needs 4-5 years and that's why the tenure system is normally for 6 years in US.


*****

Considering that salaries can not be increased much higher, what can be done by departments, Institutes and the government in the current system to attract and retain faculty?

The easiest thing the government will propose is to have a performance linked incentive scheme (PLIS). This is a great tool for an administrator who has an objective number to judge faculty. However, evaluation of individuals in academics is not easy. Scientometrics is a great tool for examining groups of individuals or institutions but can be abused and misused if used for individuals. Further, scientometrics differ significantly from department to department. Let us take publishing. Publishing in a journal of impact factor of 1.5 is an achievement in Mathematics, is good in chemical engineering, is not at all good in chemistry. Then the journal impact factors have to be scaled. Evaluation in terms of patents have to be introduced but there is a huge difference in filing for a patent and licencing a patent. Let us even assume that we develop a perfect measurement tool to objectively judge faculty based on a combination of publications, citations, patents, teaching, committee work and other aspects. Of course, the "formula" has to be different for each department. An applied engineering department may prefer patents over publications while a basic science department may prefer publications over patents etc. But, then, the individuals have to be judged not just within the institution because the best faculty in a particular department of IIT may be just an average faculty in IISc (or vice-versa) though the base salary of both will be the same.

Therefore, faculty have to be compared nationally and internationally. This is primarily the reason that government has introduced several national fellowships, which have both research and personal money, that can be awarded on a nationally competitive basis. The government has instituted several fellowships ranging from Rs. 60,000 per year to Rs. 6 lakhs per year. The funding agencies should increase the number of fellowships awarded at various levels to ensure that a wider group is rewarded. The institutes can reduce their share in consultation fees. For example, currently, the institute takes 40% of the fees as overheads. This can be changed to what some IIMs do. No overheads upto six lakhs, 20% for fees between six to fifteen lakhs etc. The former would increase the salaries of faculty who do fundamental research (like in sciences) while the latter scheme would increase the salaries of faculy who do applied research (like in electrical engineering).

Departments should form inter-department committees of senior faculty who have a track record of mentoring young faculty. This committee should meet new faculty both formally and informally and ensure that he/she is nominated for awards, fellowships, is advised on applying to different funding agencies, facilitate collaboration within the institute etc. Few departments in IISc already do this. The department should also ensure that the new faculty get doctoral students and have negligible teaching load in their first year after joining. Few departments like my department in IISc already do this. Finally, departments should ensure that the young faculty come to know the various administrative rules and regulations like purchase, leave, sabbatical etc. For this, they should send their young faculty to people like me who serve on a myriad of committees.

Institutes can pay signup money for new recruits, pay for administrative jobs like head of the department, warden etc. This has been already implemented in IIT-Bombay, for example. In addition, the institutes can provide better housing for young faculty, better startup funding and advertise better. For the established senior faculty, the institutes can establish chaired positions and many institutes like IIT-Kanpur already do this.

What does it imply? Without increasing the base salaries, both the government and the department/institutes themselves can do a lot to make the prospect of joining IITs as a faculty more attractive, especially for a young assistant professor.

43 comments:

Thinking Of Returning said...

Thank you Prof. Madras. If not for your blog nobody would even know what the professors at IIT are paid. How I wish senior professors should be supportive of junior faculty and provide them extra care like nice houses etc so that they can feel welcome. However the comments from some others in your blog indicate that the case might be rather the opposite, and junior faculty might be saddled with huge classes at the get go, get really shady housing and overwhelmed with the politics and bossing around by seniors. Who will want to join IIT with these hazards now that salaries are reduced to barely subsistence level.

EE/CS Phds would become even more scare, as IBM MS GE are expanding their research base a lot in India. They pay a starting salary of 15-20 lac PA, it is going to be rough for IITs. Not only will somebody have to really swim across the current to join IIT as an assistant professor, they would also be all the time tempted to switch to one of these labs.

Anonymous said...

Excellent summary of a middle ground. Infact in the last two years of discussions among the faculty of IIX regarding pay revision actually centered on these
issues. Everyone in IIX institutions are aware that the new pay scales have to be within reasonable bounds of the sixth PC recommendations and further the UGC recommendations. Unfortunately the Mehta committee while talking a lot about expectations did a bad job of the report. The faculty then wanted only few acceptable modifications to these recommendations with the flexibility of additional income from sponsored projects, better financial assistance for conference related travel etc and
expected the inter-department committee to do so. Unfortunately, the directors somehow did not seem to have done a proper job here and the final result was the MHRD coming out after a lot of delay with a mutilated set of recommendations and rigid norms taking away the autonomy of the institutes in selection, promotion etc. This is the root cause of the present problem. There are issues which should not have in the first place been created by the MHRD and others which could have been addressed at the Institute level by the respective administration.

Ankur Kulkarni said...

Dear Prof Madras,

Thank you for your post. It clarifies several points. In addition to other things that institutes could do to attract faculty, you could perhaps add a performance based incentive scheme. What are your thoughts on such a scheme (assuming that its modalities are broadly immune to abuse)? Incidentally on another post of yours I had asked the question:
Rather than debating the size of the cap [for number of senior prof], why isn't anyone proposing a stricter and transparent review system (say, by having an independent international review panel) to determine the really worthy ones?

Ankur

Giri@iisc said...

Thinking of returning: "junior faculty might be saddled with huge classes at the get go, get really shady housing and overwhelmed with the politics and bossing around by seniors." What you say is not correct at all, except for shady housing :-)

Ankur: I have now added a paragraph in my post on the performance linked scheme.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post ! Talks about several things in a coherent and clear manner.

Anonymous said...

@TOR and Giri:
I can vouch for huge classes and bossing around by seniors... shady housing happens to be part of everyone's life around here... not a fault of IITs, the admin structure is not controlled by profs, we are a central govt. organization after all :(

@Giri:
thanks for you post. I believe in what you said with regards to autonomy.

K

Anonymous said...

contract may not be tenure system exactly but it gives a fresh phd a chance to acquire an extended (3yrs) temp. position (atleast something better than a 1yr postdoc) to perform and prove himself. if new asst. prof. hires are assessed on one or two posdocs then I don't see why an OCAP person of 3 yrs cannot be assessed correctly before making him an asst. prof (permanent).
Moreover your 1.5 yrs logic doesn't hold water because if a person after 1yr of postdoc goes for another postdoc then it will be one more year making it a total of 2 yrs before he applies for asst. prof. position. So OCAP is actually beneficial for fresh phds in the postdoc market. Btw if enggr. asst. profs are hired after 1 yr of postdoc (unlike science who generally have the 3 yr exerience) then if he is exceptional then he can be recruited directly as an asst. prof. The 10% cap prob just raises the bar on automatically becoming an enggr. asst. prof. after a phd.

Anonymous said...

Reg. your statement on time taken for setting up lab - what will happen is that OCAP people will turn out to be those (a) who get to work in groups with established labs/infrastructure so that time lead for productivity is short.
(b)those interested primarily in teaching (assuming that there is such a career track in the premier instis )
Btw even postdoc (1-2 yr) sometime take up positions where either labs are well established or have to be started from scratch. So OCAP is not way different froma 3yr postdoc. It just gives a stability of 3yrs as opposed to 1yr of postdoc.

Pratik Ray said...

I was under the impression that Asst Prof on contract will be earning 25k/month based on the All India IIT Faculty Assoc's document.

Also, congratulations for the Bhatnagar award

Rajesh said...

K wrote:

@TOR and Giri:
I can vouch for huge classes and bossing around by seniors.

You mean it is true in your experience?

Giri@iisc said...

Anon:


"Reg. your statement on time taken for setting up lab - what will happen is that OCAP people will turn out to be those (a) who get to work in groups with established labs/infrastructure so that time lead for productivity is short."

The minister feels that OCAP is like a tenure system not a continuation of postdoc. During tenure, you have to set up your lab independently. Setting up of a lab means *getting*funding and space atleast. This will take 1-2 years at the minimum in any IITs or IISc. If you are doing a postdoc, you do not have to worry about funding or space. Both are NOT the same.

"(b)those interested primarily in teaching (assuming that there is such a career track in the premier instis )"

There is nothing like this in any IIT.

"Btw even postdoc (1-2 yr) sometime take up positions where either labs are well established or have to be started from scratch. "

You mean the postdoc has to get funding and hunt for space? Then what is the work of the postdoc advisor? This would be a really poor postdoc, where the postdoc has to get funding, space etc, setup the lab etc.


Giridhar

Giri@iisc said...

Pratik:"I was under the impression that Asst Prof on contract will be earning 25k/month based on the All India IIT Faculty Assoc's document."

Please see my table in the previous post. 25 K is the basic. What about DA, TA and HRA etc?

K: "I can vouch for huge classes and bossing around by seniors..."

I am really sorry to hear this. I talked to several young faculty in various IITs and all of them told me that their teaching load was the same or even lower than senior professors. Your case is not applicable everywhere.

" the admin structure is not controlled by profs, we are a central govt. organization after all :("

The admin structure is controlled by faculty. The director and dean are faculty. They can change the housing.


Giridhar

Anonymous said...

Why is it that 10% leave withing the first two years? Is it because they realize how bad the ratio is between industry and academic pay in India?

Anonymous said...

Here are some new developments.
"IIT boards may be allowed to tweak a controversial new pay regime if it suffocates attempts at hiring top teachers, education minister Kapil Sibal today hinted, signalling fresh efforts to break a deadlock over salaries.

In a subtle but clear shift in his stance, Sibal today stressed that the new pay regime was meant only to lay down guidelines and could be interpreted by individual IIT boards according to their needs.

His comments are significant because they suggest the HRD ministry may allow the boards of the IITs to relax regulations on appointments placed on the institutes under the new pay regime."
Full story Link
http://www.telegraphindia.com/1090928/jsp/nation/story_11549754.jsp

http://www.ptinews.com/news/303382_-Norms--could-be-relaxed-for--exceptional-cases---Sibal

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/services/education/Sibal-assures-autonomy-to-protesting-IIT-teachers/articleshow/5063090.cms

Does this mean that the IITs can hire PhDs with less than 3 years of experience (as Prof. Giridhar pointed out that it should be left for the respective departments to decide)?

If Prof. Giridhar, Dr. Kaushal and Prof. IITMsriram could shed some light, that would be great.

Anonymous said...

anon@7.29pm,
Oh yes. The selection committee
can relax the requirements for
candidates as exceptional as CNR Rao or Stephen Hawking? :-)
Seriously, this relaxation was
being done atleast in the last 10 years depending on the candidate's record and the requirements of the department without much of a problem. I think the problem is
the creation of the Mehta committee
report which explicitly reinforced
these requreiements and which the
MHRD accepted in toto, but not
the pay recommendations as is. I
don't know if the UR Rao committee
in 1998 also explicitly mentioned
these requirements, but I guess this was introduced as the norm only in the 1980s..because most
faculty in the 1970s with a PhD
could join directly as Assistant
Professor. Interestingly CNR Rao,
moved to the newly started IITs
because even with a PhD, they
had to join as Lecturers in IISc
in the 1960s and there could only
be 1 or 2 professors in the dept.

Anonymous said...

Not sure from where you get the fihure of 37k for fresh PhD. This link here clearly mentions the salary for fresh PhDs to be 15600-39100.

http://www.education.nic.in/TechnicalEdu/Rpay-CFTIs.pdf

Hence, it appears to me that a fresh PhD can make 15,600 + 6000 (AGP) + 27% of (15600 + 6000)(DA) + 4064(TA) = 31496. Is this correct?

Anonymous said...

"Further, scientometrics differ significantly from department to department. Let us take publishing. Publishing in a journal of impact factor of 1.5 is an achievement in Mathematics, is good in chemical engineering, is not at all good in chemistry. Then the journal impact factors have to be scaled."

Prof. Madras, what do you think of the Article Influence Score, also given by JCR, as a scaled impact factor?

Anand

Anonymous said...

Anon@11.58pm

You forget the 7 non-compounded
increments that are to be added.
Rs15,600 is just the start of
the PB-3 scale. As iitmsriram
pointed out, this may be increased
by 1-2 additional increments by
the committee.

I just do not understand why the
Mehta committee and MHRD needed to
play around with the norms. Right
now, atleast in IITs typically
a fresh PhD was taken at
the start of the scale and additional increments given for
post-PhD research/teaching experience. IISc has also not been
strict about the 3-yr post-PhD
requirements if they felt the
candidate was good...the only
difference might be perhaps that
no additional increments were given.

Ankur Kulkarni said...

I am throwing up a potential loophole in the "on contract AP" recruitment process.The MHRD notification says:

For appointment as Assistant Professor, one should have a Ph.D with first class or
equivalent in the appropriate branch with a very good academic record throughout
and at least three years' industriallresearch/teaching experience, excluding
however, the experience gained while pursuing Ph.D.


iitmsriram had pointed out that earlier IIXs would fudge this requirement by using the experience gained during TA/RA done at the time of PhD as experience. Can't they still fudge it -- by requiring counting experience during TA/RA done at the time of the applicant's masters? :-) That gives them 2 years of experience at least :-)

Ankur

Pratik Ray said...

I dont think that is a loophole, since now the govt explicitly mentions " excluding
however, the experience gained while pursuing Ph.D."

This would automatically prohibit TA/RA experience being counted, since whatever experience one gains as TA/RA is gained while pursuing PhD.

In most cases anyway, RA experience and PhD work is exactly the same stuff (eg: the project for which I am an RA is basically the topic for my thesis).

Ankur Kulkarni said...

@Pratik

That is exactly my point. The govt says "excluding blah blah while pursuing PhD". So one can count TA/RA experience gained while pursuing masters! Much in the same way experience gained at a teaching or research job BEFORE beginning a PhD can also be counted.

Ankur

Giri@iisc said...

Anon at September 28, 2009 11:58 PM:

Please look at the table in the previous post. It is clear.

Dear Anand,

The article influence score is something devised by eigenfactor and JCR took it. It is not very good. eigenfactor gives the percentile rank of each journal within a branch of engineering. But that is also not good. For example, in chemical engineering, combustion and catalysis journals will dominate the top 10. What if you work in a different area?

If one is really keen on implementing PRIS in the simplest form for publication, they can take the top 50-100 journals for each branch of science and engineering from the NSF report. This will result in around 500 journals for all departments in IISc (I have already that). Then say, if you publish 10 papers in five years in these journals, you will get a PRI. This will at least ensure that faculty publish 2 papers a year. This also has problems because people will split a paper into two. But I believe good faculty will not do so.

Dear Pratik:

Ankur was saying instead of Ph.D, use master's experience :-) I liked the humor in his comment.

I feel that irrespective of what anyone says the ministry will not take away the power of BoG and selection committee in recruiting AP. At the worst, if you have one year postdoc experience, you will be recruited under contract for 2 years but will be confirmed to regular AP after 6 months. No government will micromanage and ask for details.

Regarding the 40% cap on senior professors, it is not a big deal in IISc, because we always had a cap of 10% on senior professors. In the previous scale, only 10% of the professors (18,400-)were promoted to senior professors (22,400-). It is now 40%, which is better ! Actually, because one is a professor for approximately 20 years in his career, if you say the requirement for senior professor is professor with 10 years experience, only 50% will qualify and you give it to 80% of these people!


Thanks

Giridhar

Anonymous said...

Giri,
Reg. one you replies - not every new faculty (OCAP or non OCAP) entrant starts his or her own lab. Many a times a new faculty is attached to a established expt group unless he is starting a new group/expt. technique all by himself. But I do agree that compared to a postdoc the teaching load can cut into his research productivity ;but you always claim teaching experience in the final competition with the postdoc for the asst. prof position. The fact the applicant was given a OCAP instead of postdoc in the first place should imply the selection committee must have found something promising in his candidature to offer him more money, extended temp position etc.. There is also the added advantage of being a "known" person compared to a "unknown" postdoc from someother place with sim qualifications.

Giri@iisc said...

In IISc, I am unaware of any asst professor being attached to an established lab and not allowed to start a lab independently.

Anonymous said...

Dear Prof. Giri,
In IISc, there are indeed few departments, where a new faculty is not encouraged to start his/her own lab! Even he/she has enough funding, department cannot provide space for lab. He/She rather advised to work in a group with senior people. It is unfortunate but true!

Giri@iisc said...

I did not know that! Do papers also need to have the senior faculty as coauthor? Is this temporary till space (new buildings etc) come up?

Anonymous said...

Fortunately papers could be published independently! But I don't know if the junior fellow is 'supposed' to put 'senior' fellow as co-author in order to make his/her promotion smooth. Though most of the buildings are old and all departments have space problem, it is often found that 'senior' fellows are occupying space more than necessary. In some cases an assistant professor has a better publication:lab_space ratio than a senior faculty. If the senior people are not wiling to give up some space, department should not recruit new faculties.

Giri@iisc said...

Dear Anon,

Is yours a first hand experience or what you have heard? Because you say

"But I don't know if the junior fellow is 'supposed' to put 'senior' fellow as co-author in order to make his/her promotion smooth."

If all the papers are with senior professors, your promotion will NOT go through because there is no independent work. So, your statement that "to put senior fellow as author...to make promotion smooth" is very confusing.

Anonymous said...

The MHRD notification says:

For appointment as Assistant Professor, one should have a Ph.D with first class or
equivalent in the appropriate branch with a very good academic record throughout
and at least three years' industriallresearch/teaching experience, excluding
however, the experience gained while pursuing Ph.D.
It does not mean that 03 years experience is Post-PhD. Generally in engineering, one go for PhD after few years of teaching or industry/research experince. so, Pre-PhD experience counts a lot. Also, after 3 years one becomes asst. professor, but if he/she has more than 6 years of pre-PhD exper., it does not have any significance in moving to PB4.
Finally people who are in academics for say 10 yeras, but do PhD in recent years, are going to loose their salaries and more important, their seniority....

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the prompt response. Where can one see the NSF report?

Anand

Anonymous said...

see, what MHRD has done to IITs:

Pre-revised basic of 12000 (both IIT and UGC guys selected through open interviews):
IITians will start with pb3, will be moved to pb4 after 3 years and will be designated as assistant professors... UGC guys will start with pb4 and designated as associate professor.

Pre-revised basic of 16,400 (IITians r placed in a basic of 52,300 with designation of associate professor, UGC guys r placed in 53,000 with designation of professor):
IIT asstt.prof. will require 7 years to reach this scale, if not gets through the interview for associate professor post after 3 years in service.. UGC guys will reach in 4 years, if not get through the interview for Professor post after 3 years in service.

AIIITF is responsible for this mess by accepting no change in designations as proposed by Prof. Mehta.

Anonymous said...

There is meeting between Mr. Kapil Sibal and faculties on friday. Another meeting is scheduled on saturday between the Directors and faculties. Lets see whats the outcome.

http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/sibal-meets-iit-faculty-today/371961/

http://www.ndtv.com/news/india/iit_takes_fight_to_a_higher_level.php

Anonymous said...

The outcome seems to be positive! It would be very nice if Prof. Giri could write his thoughts about the agreement between the IITs and the government, especially his take on the flexibility on the painful AP on contract position. Prof. Abi sounds very positive on his blog, and some of that has rubbed on to me as well.

I'm very happy for the IIX faculty members -- a well deserved victory. This also affects me on a personal level. I've an AP offer from an IIT, but I've no postdoc experience. My heart sank a few weeks ago when I realized that the "three years" clause was not merely a guideline but law! No wonder I've been following this case very closely, and the more I read on the issue, the stronger my faith in the IIT FA got!

In the end, I believe it was just a matter of sitting together and discussing things rationally. Conveying messages through the media caused all kinds of misunderstandings, which could probably have been avoided. None of that matters now -- all is well that ends well!

I don't think anyone can blame Mr. Sibal for this fiasco (at least I don't) -- from what I read, the three year rule was recommended by the GM committee in the first place. The minister merely included the recommendation in his notification, probably without realizing that it would become such a contentious issue.

Kudos to the IIT FA for their persistence, and kudos to the ministry for being rational about the whole thing in the end, rather than let it turn into a battle of egos.

And very importantly, thank you to Prof. Abi, Prof. Giri, and Prof. Sriram for their excellent inputs throughout this little ordeal.

-- NP

Anonymous said...

Complete eyewash, involves some brainwash and whitewash. The days of washing dirty linen in public are over.

Learned colleagues, where do I find the synonyms for "gullible"?

Anonymous said...

Anon@9.02 PM: You are absolutely correct. This is complete eyewash.

What is the definition of "exceptional cases"?

What happened to compensation IIT Faculty were asking?

Anonymous said...

I cant understand, for what AIIITF is happy about.. what happened to various demands..

still IITs can not hire a fresh Ph.D. as regular Asstt. Prof..

still there is a cap of 40% at senior prof. level..

still assistant professors with 3 years of postdoc experience will be placed in basic of 30,000..

still AGP is 9500 and 10500 for associate prof. and prof, respectively..

who will decide the definition of exceptional case.. a fresh Ph.D. from some IIT having 3-4 international publications or a Ph.D. from a MIT without any publication.. further, how much IITs could be deviated.. giving exceptional cases 1 or 2 increments at joining.. or giving them regular asstt. prof. position (which is not the case looking at the tone of Minister)..

Anonymous said...

What would happen in the case of someone who joined as Assistant Prof in IITs in Jan 2008 with TWO years of post PhD experience(hence offered two increments, ie. starting basic @ 12840) and subsequently got confirmed at the end of first year?

Anonymous said...

what would happen to those asstt. profs who joined with 8 years of postdoc experience with a starting basic of 12000.

Anonymous said...

May be: A rant dedicated to MHRD
--------------------------------

Strangely, I find myself cheering for Mr. Sibal, one the eve of his trip abroad.

May be, he will give permission to the foreign universities to set up campus in India.

May be, these universities will set up campus in places that are more easy to live in instead of godforsaken agri-fields given to IITs based on political compulsions.

May be, they will pay well.

May be, in a few years, I will get a nice paying job in academia in India, since I don't care about "job security".

And for those that do........

May be, the IITs will be forced to raise salaries as a result of all this.

Anonymous said...

The biggest headache for IITs will be to make fitment tables. In the abscence of any clear guidelines from GOI, I think IITs will have to go by notification of 16th august for pb3 fixation and will follow 6thCPC tables for for pb4 fixation without bunching benifits.

Anonymous said...

dear anony

IITs are not private institutes. They cant do anything against government norms. Now, if they favour asstt. prof. without required postdoc experience at regular entry level, they will have to extend that favor to existing assistant profs too with more than 3 years of postdoc experience at joining.

Further, there are several existing assistant professors who joined with starting basic of 12000 with more than 3 years of postdoc experience. All those will ask for PB4 from their joining, which will become difficult for IITs to justify.

I dont think IITs have much options left.

Thinking Of Returning said...

Prof Madras, here is a blog post by your colleague Abi, where he validates some of the points I raised about junior faculty being saddled with huge classes and very few resources.

http://nanopolitan.blogspot.com/2008/09/war-on-resource-hogging-senior-faculty.html

Pravin Jogdand said...

Hi sir,
Can you let me know about the Salary in other universities for P.hd students and also can you please let me know will it be worth to spend 5 year for doing P.hd.

In IT sector,I am getting above average salary after comleting M.Tech