New Delhi: The month-long standoff between the government and IIT faculty members over pay structure was “resolved” on Friday with the human resource development ministry agreeing to revisit the contentious norms, including 40% cap on promotion of professors to senior grade.
The IIT teaching staff expressed happiness over its hour-long meeting with Union human resource minister Kapil Sibal to discuss the contentious issues but did not announce an end to their agitation.
The minister assured them that the board of governors of IITs can “deviate from the existing norms in exceptional cases to promote excellence”.
“All issues between IIT faculty and HRD ministry over pay structure have been resolved. Our guidelines are just norms and there can be flexibility or relaxation in exceptional cases,” Sibal told reporters after the meeting.
The IIT faculty members said the flexibility of the IIT system will help the institutes move forward.
“The minister has assured us about IIT retaining flexibility and they can relax norms. We are happy that these norms can be taken off by the board if necessary. But we will discuss with the directors tomorrow about implementation. We will take final decision on our agitational plan after that,” M. Thenmozhi, president of All India IIT Faculty Federation, said.
The minister also assured the faculty that in case of any serious problem, they can raise the issue at the IIT Council meeting through their directors.
The government on 18 August notified the pay structure for Centrally Funded Technical Institutions (CFTI), including the IITs and IIMs.
The IIT faculty members, however, protested certain “anomalies” in the pay structure. The government then issued amended notification twice, but failed to satisfy the faculty.
The faculty members have been demanding withdrawal of 40% cap on promotion of professors to senior grade. They were also opposing the provision of contractual appointment at entry level.
Sibal said the government is ready to revisit the norms for “whatever is good for the IIT system”. “Down the line, if we find that more than 40% of teachers are eligible for the senior grade, we will revisit the norms,” he said.
Regarding the demand for abolition of contractual appointment, he said the IIT system has the flexibility to deviate from the norms.
In case of non-availability of faculty in a particular department, for example nano-technology, the IITs could relax the norms to absorb people, he said.
“Norms can be deviated from subject to certain conditions. The conditions can be laid down by the IIT directors and boards,” he said.