The Indian academic system differs dramatically from the American model in that, with very, very few exceptions, tenure is not an issue. Faculty are invariably recruited to ‘permanent positions’. Even in cases where the initial appointment is a contract of fixed term, renewals are practically automatic. Academic performance is not demanded and academic freedom often degenerates into a licence to legitimise non-performance....While both the carrot and stick are used equally effectively in the West to enhance academic performance, neither is available to most institutions in India. Administrations must follow the policy of benign neglect with respect to high performers, even while turning a blind eye to the significant dead wood accumulating in our institutions.
I do not know whether the tenure system will be generally successful in India, except in a few niche institutions like NCBS. In other places, this may actually result in high performers being denied tenure to ensure that "non-performance" remains the standard. Prof. Balaram fails to mention why administrators must follow the policy of turning a blind eye to the dead wood and neglect the performers. I do not think that there is an inherent need for an administrator to follow this policy. A strong head of an institution can turn down appointments and promotions to undeserving faculty. This may, of course, result in making him/her unpopular.Actually, it is the majority of (science) administrators who choose to follow this policy to keep their "bosses" (ranging from politicians to academic scientists who decide major policies/recruitment of "high" posts) happy.