Protesting against disparity in pay, hundreds of teachers of the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IITs) Bombay and Roorkee went on a mass casual leave on Monday. In a similar step, IIT Delhi teachers will go on leave on Tuesday.
“The pay hike given by the government is at least 30 per cent less at the lower level (of faculties) and at higher level it is 40 per cent less than what we had asked for. It will be difficult for us to attract good faculty members,” said Saumya Mukherjee, professor at IIT-Bombay.
Coming out of the ITT-Bombay in a long queue holding placards, professors said that a candidate needs to have a PhD to be a professor at any IIT, which means around six more years of study and loss of income. Had they taken up a government job, they would have earned at least Rs 20 lakh, they claimed.
“The government is not even giving us the scholastic pay which is a compensation for the loss in earning,” said another professor from IIT-Bombay.
“There is some dissatisfaction over the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations for our pay hike. I returned from abroad Monday morning and will discuss the issue with the faculty members,” said IIT-Roorkee director S C Saxena.
In the meantime, teachers at IIT-Delhi have announced that they would go on a mass casual leave on Tuesday to protest the same issue.
It may be mentioned that a meeting took place of all IITs in Chennai on Sunday and a decision to protest was taken there but it was left to the individual organisations of faculty members to protest the way they choose.
“You know the problem with our pay hike. There is dissatisfaction among many,” M Balakrishnan, dean of post-graduate studies at IIT-Delhi, was quoted as saying by IANS.
Similarly, at IIT-Guwahati faculty members are likely to go on a strike some time in the near future.
“There is disparity between the salary of an assistant and associate professor at IITs. The UGC scale for central university professors is more than for us. This is a key issue. There are other anomalies as well,” IIT-Guwahati director Gautam Barua was quoted as saying by IANS.
“After the Chennai meeting, the association sent a memorandum to the human resource development (HRD) ministry. We expect the ministry to respond soon. As the director of my institute, I hope there will be no protest but I cannot say this with surety. Faculty association of my institute may go on strike anytime,” he said.