The Sixth Pay Commission recommendations, adapted for university and college teachers, have just been released by the UGC Pay Revision Committee (PRC) headed by JNU Vice Chancellor Prof. G.K. Chadha. this press release has an extended summary. If everything goes well, university and college teachers will start enjoying their new, enhanced salaries from November.
[Another such committee, headed by IISc's ex-Director Prof. Goverdhan Mehta is looking into pay revision for faculty members at IITs, IIMs, IISc, and other such institutions; it has been asked to submit its report within three months.]
The newspaper headlines point to a (minimum of) 70 percent increase in faculty salaries at all levels. Let me check if this is correct, using university professors as an example.
As some of you may be aware, university professors start at a basic salary of 16,400 (which is what associate professors in IISc, IITs and IIMs start at). In January of 2006, including the dearness allowance (which accounts for inflation), the bare salary (without other allowances, such as house rent subsidy, city dwellers' subsidy, etc) was about Rs. 30,000.
According to the Chadha commirtee recommendations, university professors would start at a salary of 37,400. In addition, they are eligible for a grade pay of Rs. 11,000, and an academic allowance (a new feature) of Rs. 1,200. Thus, the new salary works out to Rs. 49,600/-, which is about 65 percent more than the original salary of Rs. 30,000.
[What about someone with an ME or MTech degree, joining a college as an assistant professor? He/she would start with a salary of Rs. 25,100 per month -- 15,600 at the start of the pay band + three increments of 3 percent each + 6,600 of grade pay + 1,500 of academic allowance (see below) -- in January 2006. Adjusting for inflation, the pay+increments will go up by about 22 percent, yielding a starting salary of salary of about Rs. 29,000 now. In addition, he'she will also be eligible for other allowances -- see below.]
The Chadha committee recommendations pack quite a few other attractive features. Let me highlight the following:
If you live in any of the big (Class A1 or A) cities -- apparently, there are 13 of them ;-) -- your transport allowance will go up from the current Rs. 800 (approx) to Rs. 3,200 (plus inflation adjustment).
For each child (upto a maximum of two children), an allowance of Rs. 1000 has been recommended; if the child is in a hostel, this goes up to Rs. 3000. I believe this is a new feature.
Under leave travel concession (LTC) benefits, while the number of visits in a four-year block remains at one for anywhere in India, it will go up to three (from the current one) for your home town.
There are recommendations about how the faculty member and the university will share funds coming through industrial consultancy projects. Since I don't have any idea about what the current norms are, I'm not able to comment on them. On the face of it, they appear liberal: faculty members can get 100 %, 70 % and 50 % of the consultancy fees depending on whether they add up to 30 percent, 100 percent or more than 100 percent of their salary.
There's a very curious recommendation is about the number of years of service for becoming eligible for full pension: Chadha committee has asked that it be reduced to 20 years (from the current X years; at IISc, I believe X = 28).
Frankly, this recommendation puzzles me: I can see at least one way in which it could boomerang on universities: faculty members -- particularly capable ones -- may choose to leave after 20 years to take up positions in private colleges and universities, enjoying the benefits of a government sector pension and a private sector salary.
Thus, the Chadha committee has used both salary and perks to make university and college faculty positions more attractive. Let's see how many of these recommendations will be accepted and implemented. While the UPA government is in a hurry to spread happiness among key constituents, it cannot afford to alienate other key constituencies!