Thursday, January 7, 2010

Selection committee

I was supposed to attend a faculty selection committee meeting in an Institute (not IIT). However, a court order has stayed the proceedings and I had to cancel my flight tickets at the last minute. Many of my colleagues from other departments also cancelled the tickets. No doubt this would have made Kingfisher happy, the said institute unhappy but I am happy and unhappy for different reasons.

I am happy because of the free time due to the cancelled trip, I can write blog posts and work on my research papers during normal working hours.

I am unhappy because this phenomena of court cases is becoming more frequent. A couple of years back, IIT-Madras recruited faculty on behalf of IIT-Hyderabad so that IIT-H will have an head start. After the selection committee meeting and when the offers were finally being made, the court stayed the proceedings. The whole procedure had to be repeated after 1.5 years. I do not know whether the original candidates even bothered to apply again. I also know of cases in universities, in which the members of the selection committee had to justify their choice to an enquiry commission and a judge. If this becomes more and more frequent, less and less people will be willing to serve on these committees.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

apane muh miya mithhu banana achhi baat nahi, professor

Anonymous said...

Sanger publisher only 40 papers but he got two nobel prizes !

Anonymous said...

i am least interested in knowing that:

1. u were in a selection committee for some institute other than IIT.. everybody knows that only pet dogs are nominated for selection committees.

2. u were planning to travel in kingfisher airline... so what.. u proudly missed an opportunity to have 2-3 hours of pleasure in sitting in close viscinity of sexy and young air hostesses clad in tightly fitted skirts and shirts.. will not make us feel u a saint.

3. u r a hrdworking guy and do social work by reading and writting blogs even after office hours.. think about those wo work for 10 hours a day and get only rs. 100.. i am not impressed.

4. u updated list of your publications just to show that u r better than others.. believe me, nobody in india is interested in your publications

So stop publishing such posts glamourising yourself and write somthing which is of use to common people.

Anonymous said...

This is his personal blog; he can write what he wants. He is not forcing you to read it.

Anonymous said...

testing

Anonymous said...

stop this hindi shit in a personal blog

Anonymous said...

If u want to stay in India.. better be habitual of eating hindi shit.

Anonymous said...

Anon #3 says

"write somthing which is of use to common people."

Why should he write something which is of use to you? Are you paying him to write the blog?

To the last anon:

You idiot, I am not staying in India. Why should I learn hindi?

Anonymous said...

Anon #3 says

"write somthing which is of use to common people."

Why should he write something which is of use to you? Are you paying him to write the blog?

To the last anon:

You idiot, I am not staying in India. Why should I learn hindi?

Rainbow Scientist said...

Faculty jobs in any institutes/universities are still well sought after jobs in India and there is lots of politics in general to get someone selected. It is easy to disrupt the selection committee procedure using court orders. The reason is the it is comparatively cheaper to go to courts and it can delay everything for years. The whole scenario is vicious circle. The only way out is to improve the proceedings of courts faster and there should be penalty for the person who is trying to disrupt normal procedure intentionally while keeping the room open for genuine complains.

Anonymous said...

Prof. Giri,

It is always funny to read the comments posted in your blog. The variety of people from different backgrounds and different levels of "education" makes the mix much more interesting.

I understand, it is good to give "speeches" anonymously, but at the same time trolls don't give up. They just change their IDs.

You can surely identify the IP address from any of us. Why don't you publish a list from where people are connecting?

M.

Anonymous said...

I am anon #2. What is the use of you working on publishing research papers? Sanger published only 40 papers but he got two nobel prizes !

Giri@iisc said...

Dear M,

Don't spoil the fun :-) My colleague told me that he reads this blog only for the humorous comments and not for my blog ! So, please read those funny comments ! Maybe I did "glamourise" myself by stating that I wanted to write research papers.

Rainbow scientist makes an interesting point. I think she is well aware of the politics involved because she worked in an university in India.

Lavanya R said...

Prof. Madras.

I like your spirit, and your attitude. My friend and I are religious readers of this blog, and we are joining IISc soon. So, its somewhat a virtual window about what to expect in IISc, and it gives me some sort of relief that you (and the few more bloggers at IISc) can retain humor even when some comments are downright rude and ridiculous. I think it might be a good place to work.

Lavanya R.

Anonymous said...

How can university jobs be well sought, as claimed by Rainbow?

I believe that all those jobs are third rate. IITs are not able to fill their positions because of no applications. How do universities get so many applications?

RTA

Anonymous said...

So, what is your message?

Giri@iisc said...

Lavanya, thanks. IISc is a great place to work.

Last anon: All my blog posts do not need to have a message for readers. It is my personal views and experiences. However, since you asked, I have to tell you that I know of a person who suffered because of the above. He gave the interview in IIT-M and was informed he was selected. He resigned his postdoc position and came back. But the court stayed the appointments and he did not have a written letter. So, the message is do not resign your current position till you get the new offer in writing. Well, this may look obvious. Sometimes we miss the obvious if we are excited.

Thanks

Giridhar

Anonymous said...

Prof. Madras,

Is it not that the letter to candidates are issued within 1 month after selection comm. interview. This post doc must be very over zealous to resign and come back to India within this 1 month period.

Giri@iisc said...

Well, the postdoc advisor wanted an one year commitment. Because he thought he had already got this job, he resigned the postdoc position and came back only to find he did not have this job either. Everything worked out a few months later as he got a job in some other IIT.

Anonymous said...

wowww.. happy ending.. like climax of most of the bollywood movies.

Anonymous said...

Dear Prof. giri,
I echo the sentiments of Lavanya. In the absence of information on institute websites in India about the faculty hiring procedure stages and the administrative constraints associated with it, your posts are like a manna from heaven!
If it is possible for you to answer, I would be very grateful if you could let me know when the next IISc gen council meeting where they finalize faculty selections will be held. I had applied for a faculty position in August last year at IISc, gave a talk etc..I understand that there was supposed to be a council meeting in December but am not sure if it took place and if postponed then when the new dates may be..
The time frame for decision making would be most helpful as I have some other faculty offers within Indian and in UK but would take IISc if selected.

Giri@iisc said...

Anon at 1.12 pm:

It was a happy ending but the candidate did suffer mentally during the few months he was out of job.

Anon at 3.02 pm:

Thanks. The council meeting which finalizes the selection committee's decision to select faculty was held on December 28, 2009. The next meeting will be held 3 months later. Please check with the chairman of the department.

Anonymous said...

Prof. Giri,

I am little confused. The dept. Chair where I applied told me that the selection comm. meeting will be held middle of January, 2010. I applied around July-august timeframe. Now from you it seems meeting was held on 28th December.
Are these two different. If so then if the selection comm. selects someone in mid january then will it take 3 months after that to issue an offer letter.

Thanks

Giri@iisc said...

"If so then if the selection comm. selects someone in mid january then will it take 3 months after that to issue an offer letter."

Yes, the council meets only every three months. All appointments should be approved by the council, though the approval is a mere formality

Anonymous said...

An off-the-topic question. Could you please provide some info regarding the general expenses while living in IISc? How good is the 'comprehensive health plan' provided by the IISc? Does it cover all treatments?

Anonymous said...

Dear Prof. Giri,
What is the typical composition of the selection committee?
How is fairness ensured? If most of the selection committee does not even meet the candidate in person how can the assessment be just?
In UK and US in most premier institutions it is mandatory for the selection committee to interview the candidates just like it is done for M.Tech and Ph.D students in India.

Giri@iisc said...

No, I can not give the expenses while living in IISc. This depends on lifestyle. For example, if you send your children to the KV school on campus, it will cost you less than Rs 1000 per year. International schools charge you 1000 per day.

Regarding health coverage, please see the new website under pay.

Regarding selection committee, please see the new website under recruitment.

ASDF said...

Dear Sir,
I completely agree with M and posting nasty replies in your blog clearly shows the mental and educational background of those. I further believe that not having a scrutiny of such posts increases your greatness and their comments in no way undermine you.

Regarding 40 papers by Sanger and all, its again a pitiable mentality of these people. By publishing thousands of papers, one may not become great. But surely, those not publishing anything are no greater. Putting Sanger's example over and again merely shows their frustration and lack of ability to get the message. I can always say that I can talk German but I won't. Who cares? By saying such things they can satisfy themselves, but the fact that the sort of pain it takes to publish can not be imagined by those know nothing but simply sitting and commenting on the publication, even without having a look on the papers. To such people, I would say first publish at least 40 papers and then say something.

Since Prof Madras does not like the comment to be posted as anon, I will give some abstract initial :)

Anonymous said...

Dear non-publishing community,

Please accept my sincere congratulations on keeping your spirits high for non-publishing. You may not be aware but your commitment towards non-publishing has drastically uplifted the standard of your research automatically. It also has also dug a grave for the level of research of those poor publishers. Suddenly, their work in respectable journals (if something like "respectable" exists for journals in your dictionary) has become a nonsense or "bullshit" if I you permit me to use your language. I am sure, the speech by Prof Venkatraman Ramakrishnan has stuffed you with a new zeal towards maintaining your standards high and the first step that you need to take is to make this non-publishing movement rigorous. Declaring "Nature" or "Science" publication with the above certificate perhaps can be a good point to start with. But I am sorry, I forgot. I probably do not hold the qualification to suggest you regarding this. I can only wish that your disregards for publications increase exponentially day by day,

Sincerely,
An unfortunate fairly publishing student

Dr. D.R.Kaushal said...

It is interesting to see that in IITD, total sponsored research projects and consultancy jobs during financial year 2008-09 is 93.1 Crores. Out of which, Consultancy jobs amount 18.56 Crores:

http://web.iitd.ac.in/~ird/statistic.html

During my recent interactions with industries worldwide in my field of specialization, I came to know that most of the academic research going on currently in my field has very little industrial significance. By saying so, I am not undermining the importance of research publications. I know very well the amount of work required to publish in International Journals of repute. However, the need of hour is to do research having industrial significance. If we do so, there is no derth of industrialists in our country to opt for advanced technologies developed by us. IITD statistics is an indication.

Anonymous said...

Sometime last year I read in NY Times something like "there is no science that it is not applied".

It is possible to do applied and basic research and publish in first level journals, but it is very hard.

However, it requires a tremendous effort from students, posdocs, supervisors AND the sponsors (from the PI to the company's president).

I know a PI from a MNC that last year published many papers including JACS, PNAS, and Science. In fact, his managers need to continuously see good publications as result of his work to continue supporting his research.

M.

Anonymous said...

Kaushalji:

IISc has more number of funded projects both industrial and consultancy. Only thing it has less compared to IIT Delhi is the number of faculty. Many IIT Delhi faculty spend time talking or having blogs about salaries and unfair promotions. IISc faculty do either basic or applied research and have useful blogs.

Giri@iisc said...

IISc does have a large amount of industrial funded projects and consultancy projects. In fact, it is more than 30 crores. Our government funded projects are more than 150 crores.

In top universities of US, the industry funded projects is roughly 20% of the total funded projects. So is the case here.

Regarding publications, I have to state that many of us have a lot of industry funded projects as well as government funded projects. The latter projects results in publications while the former is more applied and useful to the industry.

Thanks

Giridhar

Dr. D.R.Kaushal said...

Dear Prof. Madras,

Are you talking about financial year 2008-09?

Giri@iisc said...

No, the financial year of 2007-2008.

Dr. D.R.Kaushal said...

OK. Would you please give me link showing these figures? I am right now browsing IISc website, but not able to locate these figures.

Giri@iisc said...

It is in the annual report and budget papers that are given to all senate members of IISc. It is not online.