Sunday, September 12, 2010

IIT apex faculty body slams pay 'betrayal'

The apex faculty body of the Indian Institutes of Technology has accused the government of not implementing key pay-related promises made almost a year back to convince them to end an unprecedented standoff.

In a memorandum submitted to the human resource development ministry, the All India IIT Faculty Federation has argued that many of the concerns that brought them to the streets last year remain unresolved, sources told HT.

The federation represents the 4,000 teachers across the IITs and last year led an unprecedented protest over pay concerns that crippled the institutes for days, with teachers skipping classes for the first time.
The memorandum, sent on Thursday, requested that the Federation be allowed to present its concerns at the IIT Council meeting on Friday. But federation sources claim they received no response. "We had even asked the directors to hear us but they said they did not have time," professor M. Thenmozhi, president of the Federation said.
HRD Minister Kapil Sibal said he was unaware of the memorandum and added that his officials would handle these concerns. He also said that any concerns on promises made last year should be addressed.
The federation, which met here on Wednesday, plans to consult faculty of each IIT to prepare a strategy to take forward their opposition to what a senior professor dubbed a "betrayal".
Sibal had last October called a meeting with the federation at his residence to defuse a two-month-long standoff as some of India's most qualified teachers fought a battle that they argued was about "respect".
"You assured us that all issues in the 6th pay commission implementation at the IITs … would be resolved as soon as possible. This was followed by a meeting with directors of IITs who also assured us that all our concerns will receive immediate attention," the memorandum says. However, almost one year after that meeting, "no tangible progress has been made on any front till date," it adds.
The faculty have been demanding a withdrawal of norms stipulating a minimum period a teacher must serve at the IITs for promotions.
They have also been demanding a performance-related incentive scheme, common medical facilities for serving and retired teachers and representation on the IIT Council.
Source : Hindustan Times.

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