IIT directors term hunger strike a ‘wrong step’

IIT directors term hunger strike a ‘wrong step’

Kanpur: IIT directors today termed as a “wrong step" the decision by faculty members to go on a day-long hunger strike on the issue of pay structure and appealed to them to do a rethink and resolve problems through talks.

“No issue can be resolved by going on hunger strike. The faculty members should first convey their grievances to their respective directors, who would in turn forward their genuine demands to the HRD ministry," professor Sanjay Dhande, IIT Kanpur director, said here.

He said the decision of the All India IIT Faculty Federation to go on a hunger strike on Thursday was “completely wrong".

“We appeal to them not to go ahead with their agitation and initiate talks with their respective directors on the issue," he said.

IIT Guwahati director professor Gautam Baruah has asked the faculties to put on hold their agitation programme since there is a meeting between the faculties and the directors on Friday at IIT Delhi.

“They wanted to meet the directors and we are meeting on Friday. I have sent an mail to the faculty members to keep the agitation programme on hold," he said.

The IIT faculty federation yesterday decided to observe a one-day hunger strike on Thursday to protest anomalies in the pay structure. The federation has been demanding flexible cadre system and regular appointment of Ph D holders at entry level.

The HRD Ministry’s latest notification on pay structure says that about 40% of the professors in the IITs will be promoted to the senior grade after completing six years in the post. It also says that the Ph D holders should be appointed as assistant professors on contract basis.

The federation yesterday resolved that there should not be any cap on the promotion of faculties. The IITs have been enjoying a flexible cadre system, under which teachers are promoted on the basis of their performance and the same system should continue, they said.

Regarding the 40% cap, Baruah said the ministry has agreed to come up with a performance-based incentive scheme under which good faculty members would get rewards.

“The faculty members need not worry. The performance incentive scheme will take care of their grievances," he said.

Dhande also assured the agitating faculty members that their directors would take all the genuine demands to the HRD Ministry and would come up with a solution.

“Our efforts would be that all the genuine demands of the IIT faculty members are accepted by the ministry."

The faculty federation has demanded a meeting of representatives of HRD Ministry, IIT directors and their representatives to resolve the crisis. They have given an ultimatum to the government till 1 October to sort out the issue.