Tweaking the original notification, HRD ministry has come up with a second version of payscales for staff and faculty of centrally-funded institutes. As per the new rules, lecturers won’t be part of the regular faculty cadre in these institutes.
The notification restored earlier practice of allowing central institutes to appoint post-doctoral fellows as assistant professors, however only on contract basis. IIT and IIM faculty, not very ‘excited’ about the development, picked problems with points ‘detrimental for institution building’.
“It is very difficult to attract bright people to the teaching profession. The IITs have always had the freedom to decide whether someone should be appointed on contractual basis or taken in as permanent staff,” said Bharat Seth, president of the IIT-Bombay faculty federation.
Moreover, staff across central institutes want to hold on to the freedom they have enjoyed in having a flexible cadre. However, the ministry prescribes the percentage of people that each campus must have at every level. For instance, the notification stipulates that 10% faculty must be of assistant professors and a maximum of 40% professors can be promoted to senior grade depending on their performance.
S S Murthy, president of the All India IIT Faculty Federation, told agencies that such a cap was “illogical”. Scholastic pay, on par with allowance given to scientists in all government research bodies, was demanded by faculty from across IITs, IIMs and IISc. The new HRD notification is silent on that issue.
One of the amendments though has been the HRD ministry’s decision to allow assistant professor to move from pay band three to a higher salary, a clause that was not permitted earlier.