Thursday, August 27, 2009

Clueless reporter of the day

The 'honor' goes to Manu Sharma of NDTV for the report under this headline:

Professors earn Rs 50,000 at IIT, Rs 5 lakh at Harvard

A comparison between his/her salary and that of a two-bit reporter in a third rate news network in the US may help Manu Sharma in not getting suckered into accepting (and peddling) silly arguments for a pay hike for faculty members.


  1. Anonymous said...

    Many IIT professors can at least get a job in a third rate US university and earn $50,000.

    Manu Sharma will not even get a job as a two-bit reporter at a third rate news network in US. That's the reason the former comparison is (reasonably) valid.

    There are hundreds of clueless reporters in our "top" news channels but not so many clueless professors in our top universities (IITs).

  2. gaddeswarup said...

    "The IIT professors have demanded a scholastic allowance of Rs 15,000. They point out that abroad, each time a researcher publishes a paper, he is paid for it separately."
    Is this true?

  3. Anonymous said...

    Dear Abi,
    I think you have got the wrong point, Manu has compared but never told that Professors in IIT should get the same salary as he/she should have got in Harvard.
    Manu has done correctly what a media person should do, accumulate the news and report.

  4. Vikram S said...

    While I do think Manu Sharma is clueless, nevertheless there is an unintended valid point being made.

    Even in tier 2 universities in the US, Profs make as much as US$120k a year (i.e., 5 lakhs a month). Using purchasing power parity arguments, shouldn't a Prof in the IITs make US30K a year, i.e., Rs. 1,25,000 a month? If we want to attract top quality academics back, IIT salaries are not attractive at all.

    Of course such pay hikes should also come with accountability requirementss, tenure and all that, which is the subject of an entirely different debate.

  5. Anonymous said...

    I agree with Abi on this. A full professor at Harvard should be getting upward $250K pa, which is more like 10L than 5L.

    Clearly a clueless reporter.

  6. Anonymous said...


    Professors at IIT do make Rs. 1.25 lacs per month including allowances. See

    Of course, there is no pressure to teach, publish, get funding...

  7. Anonymous said...

    Well a major fraction of faculty salary at Harvard comes from the huge UG tution fees (Harvard is one of the most expensive schools). It is also able to generate enormous private endowments that the school invests in hedge-funds, private-equity firms etc. like private corporations. So in terms of financial organization it is an unfair comparison between IITs and Harvard.