ibnlive » India

Sep 24, 2009 at 09:11pm IST

IIT staff go on hunger strike for pay hike

New Delhi: The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) professors notched up their protest for higher pay scales by observing a hunger strike on Thursday.

Their demand: They will teach but if the government wants them to eat then it'll have to listen to their demands. That's the message for the day from the dons of the Indian Institute as they went on a one day fast.

The reason they are angry is this statistic:

A Director at IIT gets paid 12 lakhs a year whereas a director at a premier institute abroad like MIT gets 60 lakhs. The disparity exists down the line as India's premier brains want a better pay package.

Meanwhile, the government is not willing to listen as it says the comparison has to be domestic. IIT's teaching staff are the best paid in India and their increments are better than even staff at the DRDO.

HRD Minister Kapil Sibal said, " Instead of talking about pay band four, we should be talking of pay band 2024, instead of looking here and there why not have bigger vision.”

But now the protests seem to be spilling over to lesser paid staff from other universities as well.

However, even while the standoff between the government and the faculty continues, professors ensure that classes are not disrupted and even students came out in support of their teachers.

The support from students doesn't help to get a pay hike and professors are not sure now how they will take the protests forward.

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