New Delhi: A combative Union Human Resource Minister Kabil Sibal on Tuesday rubbished the demands by faculty members of Indian Institutes of Technology for more pay hike and autonomy.
Addressing a press conference in New Delhi Sibal slammed the IIT faculty saying they have been behaving in a way that doesn't befit those associated with institutes of excellence.
Sibal said that all the demands of IIT faculty have been met and also ruled out more autonomy saying they would continue to be regulated as the IITs were funded by the Union Government.
"The faculty is behaving in a manner that does not meet IIT standard. They are goading IIMs to follow the same. IIT directors are not in the same page with the faculty. All their demands have been met and they have been treated fairly. If IITs are government funded they will be regulated," said Sibal.
Reacting to Sibal's outburst IIT Delhi Faculty Federation President Professor SS Moorthy said that the faculty has already expressed displeasure with the current package.
"Let there be a three-member committee to go through our demands... a distinguished alumni, an industrialist and an ex-IIT director. Let them go through our demands and if they say it is unjutsifiable then we are prepared to accept it. We had a discussion with the directors (IIT directors). Most of our demands are justified. We want IITs to be best in the country," said Moorthy.
"We respect the views of the Minister... (but) we are concerned about the Minister's statement. We are grateful to the Minister. We want flexibility but government should not be rigid on the issue. The issue can be resolved," he added.
IIT faculty has been protesting against the HRD Ministry's notification issued on September 16 that said that there would be no immediate pay hike for the IIT faculty. The notification also ignored their demands for an increase in allowances.
Faculty members of IITs on Monday also decided to go on a fast on September 24 to protest HRD Ministry's new pay plan.
The decision to go on fast was taken at the meeting of faculty of IITs in Kolkata. The faculty assured that regular classes at IITs won't be affected on the day of the fast.
They also provided a deadline of October 1 to the HRD Ministry to meet their demands or to come out with a fresh notification.
The IIT faculty would be submitting a fresh memorandum of their demands to the HRD Ministry on Tuesday.
Faculty members from IIM Calcutta and Ahmedabad also participated in the meeting.
The HRD Ministry on September 16 issued a notification that said that there would be no immediate pay hike for the IIT faculty. The notification also ignored their demands for an increase in allowances.
The government had come up with a revised pay package for faculty of Centrally Funded Technical Institutions (CFTIs), including IITs, but was silent on lifting the cap on promotion of professors, triggering protest from senior teaching staff who said it would affect the autonomy of the elite institutes.
The fresh notification brought out by the HRD Ministry on the pay structure of CFTIs said that the post of lecturer-cum-post-Doctoral Fellows will be re-designated as Assistant Professors on contract.