Thursday, October 08, 2009

Why is IIT-Guwahati offering a low salary to its OCAPs?

Update (10 October 2009): Prof. Gautam Barua responds in a comment; please see this post for further discussion.

* * *

In Pallavi Singh's Mint story on IIT faculty members' pay hike related protests, she gets IIT-Guwahati Director Gautam Barua to talk about the plight of on-contract assistant professors:

“This means six years to reach PB (pay band) IV. Now, we won’t be able to offer anyone joining us on contract the job of an assistant professor on PB III and more than Rs22,000-23,000 as starting salary,” Barua explained.

The salary figures quoted by Barua are all wrong -- he's way out of truthful territory here.

An OCAP will start at a little over 37,000 in metros, and certainly over 35,000 in Guwahati, a non-metro [see this comment by iitmsriram over at Giridhar's blog].

[Aside: The OCAP salary is bad, alright; but it's bad only in comparison with that of real assistant professors in IITs. In comparison with the salaries of other academic jobs open to a fresh PhD (in our universities, for example), the OCAP salary is actually better. In other words, OCAP is bad, but it's still the best (academic) option for a fresh PhD!]

A couple of questions:

  1. What kind of leadership is this? I mean, isn't it Barua's duty to project his institution in the best possible light? Why, then, is he going out of the way to make OCAP sound worse than it actually is?

  2. Barua may claim that he was only talking about the band pay (I'm being charitable here; the band pay for a fresh PhD is 20,140. Barua's figure is again straying from the truth, but on the 'right' side ;-), and not about the AGP, DA, transport allowance. But why? What purpose does this sort of low-balling serve, other than spook potential applicants?

IIT-Guwahati already has a couple of handicaps -- its location, and its status as a relative newcomer among the IITs.

Now it has a third: Gautam Barua.


  1. Anonymous said...

    Dear Abi

    As a potential OCAP, I can tell you for sure that Prof. Barua cannot spook me any more. Mr. Sibal just gave me the halloween "tunnel of horror" walk in the last few months. I am completely spooked.

    I know you will probably find my approach reprehensible, but I am going to accept an offer from an IIX as a "resume building exercise". I will try my best to utilize my time in this IIX to publish to the extent I can and leverage that to either go to a foreign university in India, or just immigrate back to north America, which is where I currently live.

    Someone once told me "If life gives you lemons, make lemonade out of it". I really wanted to join academia. It seems that I can still do that and make good lemonade in a few years. BTW, I will be selling regular lemonade in the mean time near the IIX gate, to supplement my OCAP salary ;-)


  2. PS said...

    :-) Mr Abhinandan, even if we accept your salary calculations (and I have no reason to doubt your calculations), you would agree that an assistant professor on contract would get much less than an assistant professor? The central argument is: will anyone joining the IITs get the same deal as they were getting before the September 16 notification? The answer is NO. Well, why get lost in the figures? Mr Barua perhaps forgot to stress that he was only talking about the band pay, but his argument I think highlighted a crucial fact-- The fact that the salaries offered at the entry level at the IITs are now going to decline. Right? Thanks for the post though. Another point of view among many. With warm regards, Pallavi Singh, Mint.

  3. Anonymous said...

    Pallavi, nice comment. One feedback though, its Dr. Abhinandan, not Mr. Abhinandan. To clarify, I present a dialog from "Austin Powers"....

    U.N. Representative: So, Mr. Evil...
    Dr. Evil: It's Dr. Evil, I didn't spend six years in Evil Medical School to be called "mister," thank you very much.

  4. Anonymous said...

    I checked the web pages of 2 departments in IITG, computer science and physics (that makes it one each from eng. and science). In physics, there is hardly anyone who has been recruited without a post-doc experience of at least 2 years. In comp. sc., I could find only one person who joined the dept. before submitting his thesis. (Of course, many of the senior faculty do not have academic details in their webpages. But in those cases, one could assume that they already were working elsewhere before joing IITG.) So, what is all this talk about OCAP and IITG offering positions even before one submits his thesis?

  5. Anonymous said...

    Well, Barua is correct. It is probably around Rs. 34000 gross. Take 20% away for tax and 10% for PF reduction. What one will get in hand is Rs 23000. He is clearly talking about take home salary.

  6. Anonymous said...

    IIT Guwahati is a shame in the IIT system. They have been playing regional cards for promotion. Someone from that region gets promotion before others. A very large no. of people left IITG. Now, they have a rule that unless someone works there for 7 years, the person will not get all the benefits when he joins somewhere else. I joined there without knowing the details - somehow managed to escape. I wonder why IIT teachers federation doesn't talk about these issues.

  7. PS said...

    This debate is getting interesting. All Anons, please mail me at pallavikaa AT You can trust me to kepp you anonymous. Just need a dialogue, different perspective, opinion, info, clues and leads. Please mail, or call at o11-66561733. Many thanks, Pallavi Singh, Mint.

  8. Anonymous said...


    To label a director as a handicap based on a press quote is ingenuous to say the least. And speaks very poorly of a senior academic such as yourself.

    Your remarks would not have been any less worthy without those unwarranted conclusions.

  9. Dr. D.R.Kaushal said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  10. Dr. D.R.Kaushal said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  11. Dr. D.R.Kaushal said...

    I have made 2 attempts to post this message. I hope to be successful in third.

    "At the entry level they may be placed in Pay Band PB-3 of Rs.15600-39100 with Academic Grade Pay (AGP) of Rs.6000 p.m. with seven non-compounded advance increments."

    CPF deduction=8.25% of Salary=2739
    Annual Salary=414278
    Income Tax (Male)=3155 pm
    Income Tax (Female)=2905 pm
    In hand salary=31368(M), 31618(F)

    This is what GOI finally proposes to attract young talent !!!

  12. ansumali said...

    "In comparison with the salaries of other academic jobs open to a fresh PhD (in our universities, for example), the OCAP salary is actually better."
    I do not know anybody, who will consider this salary to be good. If you want to compare with UGC salary to say that it is a better option, then may be compare this salary with private school teacher in some sweet shop too. It will look even better.

    Most of young people when they think of coming back to India, they get lot of better options.

  13. Anonymous said...

    Truly spoken like an engineer! Dr. Kaushal, thanks for putting the actual numbers out, I have seen a lot of back and forths here without real data, as always, your data helped put things in perspective.

    I noticed that you didn't put HRA in there, which means the faculty will probably live in a 1BR appt. on campus. So, with that taken care of, how far does Rs. 31k go in Today's India? I would assume not very far.

    I am also worried about workload on existing faculty. With extra intake and the mentoring of new IITs, I am assuming you are already putting in long hours on teaching which takes you away from research. If new faculty hiring goes down further, do you foresee your own workload increasing further?

  14. Dr. D.R.Kaushal said...

    Starting salaries for other designations can be calculated using salary calculator available on my homepage:

    Asstt Prof. (regular)=48342
    Associate Prof.=65005

  15. Dr. D.R.Kaushal said...

    Dear Anony,

    Thanx. I have not included HRA (30% of basic) in my calculations. I hope that every IIT provides decent accommodation to new faculty.

  16. Dr. D.R.Kaushal said...

    Further, for starting salaries of other designations, i have considered CPF deduction but not IT deduction.

    On these lines Asstt Prof. (regular) after 3 years in service will get 58130.

    34,48,58,67,72: Do these salaries at differential experience of 3 years reflect the basic philosophy of 6PC for IIX (of attracting and retaining talent)?

  17. Anonymous said...

    " In comparison with the salaries of other academic jobs open to a fresh PhD (in our universities, for example), the OCAP salary is actually better. In other words, OCAP is bad, but it's still the best (academic) option for a fresh PhD!"

    Should add the "in India" part there. Given the situation, the sensible option seems to do a post-doc for 3 years, and then take it from there (i.e. decide at the end of 3 years whether it is worth returning to India, or try staying abroad).

    In other words, the OCAP system is designed to drive away the candidates. I cant understand why would somebody come up with such an idea. Apparently, the learned committee that was set-up and that made this recommendation has absolutely ZERO understanding of the scenario in Engg departments, especially the lucrative ones like CSE/EE/Mech etc.

  18. Anonymous said...

    So 34K is what 6PC put a price for someone to teach in IIT giving up his/her career in abroad say USA. Abi is saying that "In comparison with the salaries of other academic jobs open to a fresh PhD (in our universities, for example), the OCAP salary is actually better." Bravo!!!

    I wish our intellectual junta and minister understand the golden opportunity they are going to loose to attract those talented phds in USA in this economic recession time. This is time when India should cash on, bcoz good people who are doing post-doc in good univs here are not getting jobs. But what a blow this is.. I know IIX will get lot of applications since we have 1 billion people country. but certainly those very good stdnts who are the products of IIT undergraduate system itself(many of them being toppers)will go away. So we will loose the very best.

  19. Anonymous said...

    Dr. Kaushal,
    You forgot to deduct the license fee for the apology of an accomodation that is usually provided (available) for a fresh Asst. Prof. So for opting to stay on campus you end up 'paying/losing' HRA + license fee.

  20. Dr. D.R.Kaushal said...

    Dear Anony

    I was just going through a news report in TOI. NRIs are all over the globe except Pakistan, Bhutan and North-Korea. India is a democratic country and still in developing phase. It must be understood that the salary structure is to be looked in the overall context of all Government services, all other university systems, and specialized units like armed forces, para-military forces, etc.

    IITs are generally the last government organizations where the revised salaries are implemented in each pay commission. It has its own advantage that we get the most refined deal. However, its disadvantage lies in the fact that salaries can not be diverted much from the other services.

  21. Dr. D.R.Kaushal said...

    Dear anony

    You are right. The rent of campus accomoation is around rs. 400 pm.

  22. Abi said...

    Thanks for all the comments. Thanks especially to Kaushal for giving us a more realistic estimate of the take-home salary of an OCAP.

    Just two quick responses:

    @Pallavi: You might want us to focus on OCAP salaries being lower than that of a real assistant professor. We have already done that on this blog, before the IIT FAs folded up and went home.

    Moreover, this post is not about our story; it's about a director giving a wrong information that makes his institution look bad.

    @Anon (11:21 PM): You said, "To label a director as a handicap based on a press quote is ingenuous to say the least. And speaks very poorly of a senior academic such as yourself."

    I wrote this post only after I confirmed that Barua's statement is a direct quote -- it's not just a "press quote," it's one that the journalist has put her reputation on the line for.

    I have pointed out why that statement is wrong, and also why it damages his institution's ability to recruit. (Heck, I have even considered a charitable interpretation of his statement, before pointing out why that also reflects poorly on him).

    I have given my reasons for why I think Barua has strayed from the truth. I wonder why you think his lack of knowledge (or, lack of truthfulness) deserves respect -- academic or otherwise.

    BTW, did you really want to use 'ingenous' in your comment? Just curious ...

  23. Dr. D.R.Kaushal said...

    In hand salaries after IT deduction only:

    P: 62.5 k
    Assoc: 58.3 k
    Asstt(reg)+3yrs: 52 k
    Asstt(reg): 44.3 k
    Asstt(cont): 34 k

  24. Anonymous said...

    While there is considerable gap between academic (public institutions) and private sector pay,
    one has to remember that the numbers thrown around for private sector is CTC and there can be big difference between take-home and CTC at the higher end of the scale.

  25. Anonymous said...

    Dear Abi,
    This looks very bad comments about prof. Barua from such senior person like you. I am not sure about real figure may be he is talking about basic salary and also this was just his comment not any negative expression. As a Prof and Director he is very well known and well respected person and done lot of things for IIT. Its very easy to comment but takes lot of guts and dedication to do real work.
    Your comments looks very disappointing.

  26. iitmsriram said...

    This one is not going to be popular, but it is truth, I think. I am writing in defence of OCAP. I have taken the opinion of about a dozen administrators (HoDs and Deans) and without exception, they are in favour of OCAP. It is basically the tenure system coming to India. The one year probationary period that is used now is too short for a new recruit to really accomplish much and so except in rare cases, the confirmation after probation is automatic. With a three year contract period, one can take the risk on doubtful candidates and see if things pan out and the new recruit fits in with the department. The OCAP is entitled to every right and privilege of a regular AP, except permanency. Yes, the salary is lower, but I understand the IIT directors are working on a formula that they can apply and make it more attractive. If the salary is bumped up closer to that of a regular AP, whats the problem with OCAP?

  27. Anonymous said...

    Before you read please consider, that I am talking about engg faculty only esp. about experimentalists. And I strongly believe that to take the scientific research standard in India to the next level, it needs many more good experimentalists to supplement our strong (or you can say not so bad in some engg dept) base of theoretical sciences, thanks to some of the world class scientists which India have produced over the yrs.
    So why will one join in OCAP?
    Firstly, lets consider why do people join as AP in IIX after doing PhD in US. It is the permanency or in other words, job-security the stress-free life which motivates a person doing postdoc in US to join IIX besides the advantage of being close to family, participating in all the festivals, food..etc. It is the time during the post-doc stint one realize the uncertainty of the job in USA which helps him/her to go for the permanent job in IIX since its hard to get a faculty job in USA easily right now. Even though one gets the faculty job everyone is aware of the fact that how hard one has to work to get tenured. So one sacrifices the lure of higher salary at the expense of stress-free permanent job in IIX. If someone has to bear the same stress in IIX then why not in USA. S/he will better spend few more yrs as postdoc in USA, earn more, the go for the faculty job in USA or even in industries. Don’t think that someone will join IIX just to relax or anything. I am sure after doing 4-6 yrs research and having passion about his/her research nobody will let loose his/her momentum intentionally esp. if we consider the quality of stdnts IIX hire generally. What I wanted to say that it is the permanency and job-security what motivated people to join IIX.
    2ndly, the confidence on the evaluation process in India. Can one be sure that S/he will be evaluated honestly /properly after 3yrs tenure-track. Few things which come to one’s mind immediately when S/he considers to join in IIX as faculty like these “Will I be able to accustomed with the work culture in India considering the slowness/corruptions/dishonesty in Indian administrative system…will I've to scale down my research ambitions? ...just consider how many profs have changed into their research direction to computational science due to lack of facilities..”
    So when one rate his/her chances to be successful in 3 yrs tenure why one will go for IIX over an univ in USA. Because if you join one univ in USA you get a very good start-up fund and other resources which is incomparable to what india can offer. PLUS in USA one can get lot of collaborations since its easy because you have spent good 4-6 yrs in this country. you know how the system works….you know how to write a the proposal to NSF/DARPA/ get the advice from your PhD/postdoc advisors. On the other hand your PhD advisors know nothing about the Indian system so forget about their left India after btech when you were just 21/22 yrs old. So technically you know nothing about the Indian systems…and another big thing is India is yet to be convinced that Science is truly collaborative enterprise.
    Bottomline: how you can be so sure that in 3 yrs time you will be able to set up good lab by writing proposals, getting funding and students and finally produce some papers. Well in USA one takes minimum 2 yrs to set up his lab and get some exciting results which take someone to the process of experiments and publications.
    I am sure I am not too naïve to guess that it will take 3 yrs in India to get you lab ready and some exciting results. Now will you be evaluated honestly in this case after 3 yrs. I am sure people will say yes. But who knows what will happen after 3yrs? How you can put so much faith on Indian evaluation system.

  28. Anonymous said...

    contd..from above post..
    Well, myself feel luck that I got an offer for permanent AP in IIX, but it is sad that one of my potential collaborator has decided to stay in usa as postdoc and then look for faculty/industry job as it doesn’t make any sense to go for temporary job in India. I am sure there are many like my friend who are thinking in the same line…


  29. Anonymous said...

    Anonymous (10.14 pm)

    "Barua....well respected ...."

    Just go to IIT G and find out what people think of him. He has been ruining that IIT for several years. He is very popular among the local people but otherwise people just want to get rid of him.

    IITG is a good example of how regional favouritism can ruin a national institute.

  30. Gautam Barua IITG said...

    I am surprised at all these comments. First of all, please dont blame me for what a reporter has written. Of course I meant the basic pay when I said Rs 22,000-23,000. To this you have to add grade pay of 7000/- and to the total you have to add a)DA of 27%, b) SDA of 12.5% (this is only for IITG, being in the NE region), and c) 400/- of SCA. This adds up to Rs. 40,275.00 (gross, without house rent allowance). I never told the reporter that this is a bad pay. I had told her that the fact that we cannot offer a rgular job up front is a bummer. But we (IITG) are getting around this by making a regular offer which will be three years later (if you have just submitted your PhD), with the intervening three years on contract. This is like three years of probation. Compared to a tenure track appointment for 5-7 years, in the USA, this is much better.
    As far as comments about IITG being regional, etc., what can I say, except to strongly refute such comments from one ex-faculty (presumably)who is trying to rationalise to himself why he left IITG. Our selection process is one of the most liberal (being a relatively new IIT, this should be obvious) in terms of number of years, but there is no compromise on standards, and we have fiar and transparent selections, I am proud to say. Talking about regionalism when only about 20% of the faculty are from the NE region is in poor taste (check what the figures are in IITKGP, IITM etc.)
    Gautam Barua

  31. Anonymous said...

    Prasanth, Thanks for that detailed write up with a perspective of an experimentalist. I completely agree with you. Even FAs have been trying very hard to get rid of that term "contract" (at least through BoG or IIT council), however, it appears that since this term gives some power/authority to HoDs or administrators, it is becoming tough. I wish/hope that Prof Barua had a look at your comment. I am sure, it will be an unimaginable idea for somebody to come and join in a north-east IITG to do experiments as a contract employee in that three years. Ask them how long does it take to procure a good equipment and to install it and get something useful out of it. Forget that, first of all how long does it take for a decent proposal to come through.

    I still do not understand how directors/especially Prof Barua has agreed with MHRD on this issue while being aware of all these issues.

    Also, what you said is right. Even many of my friends who are doing pdf in US or elsewhere in Europe do not want to apply until they finish three years as a pdf. My fear is, by the time they complete 3 years as pdf, s/he would have peacefully get accustomed to West, and will not even consider applying to India.

    Presently, it is very sad state of affairs with respect to this issue.
    Just imagine, what is the driving force for a Director to cry/plead on behalf of somebody who may apply and may join later (when many of directors are about to retire soon).

    The tenure track proposition is a wrong terminology in this context. Tenure track has different set of guidelines as some one guess so.

    Clearly, it's not clear which insane fellow will join IITG (being remote from from rest of India) as a contract employee being an experimentalist while having had some better offers in private sector.

    More interestingly, this term "contract" does not appear in NITs, UGC or AICTE pay scales -very sad.

  32. iitmsriram said...

    Prasanth says "Now will you be evaluated honestly in this case after 3 yrs. I am sure people will say yes. But who knows what will happen after 3yrs? How you can put so much faith on Indian evaluation system." Well, I put faith in the system because I am a part of it. If you do not have faith in the system, I strongly suggest you consider your options and other alternatives; I guarantee that without faith, you will be very unhappy and it will be a matter of 2-3 years max before you pack your bags again. And, about "I got an offer for permanent AP in IIX ... as it doesn’t make any sense to go for temporary job in India." I suggest you read your offer letter carefully - I am sure that it says you will be on probation for one year and there are conditions associated with that. Essentially, that makes your offer temporary for the one year period. Of course, it is not common to be terminated during probation, but at IITM this has been done for atleast 3-4 cases in the last 2 years. But what can one evaluate within one year? So, we end up confirming everyone, except the rare cases like I cite above. With a contract period that can extend upto three years, there is enough time to see how things are working out. And, for going from contract to regular appointment, there is no need for any selection panel or interviews. As indicated in the post by Gautam_Barua_IITG (btw, is that post really from THE Gautam Barua? How can one tell?) "This is like three years of probation". And, about the anon@11:33 comment "it's not clear which insane fellow will join IITG ... having had some better offers in private sector", well, it will take an insane fellow to join IIX if said fellow is considering these as alternates. If there is a "better" offer in the private sector that is being given serious thought, I can almost guarantee that such an individual will leave IIX within 2-3 years. And, sure NIT, UGC and AICTE dont have contract appointments, but where will one be after three years in any of those? IIX gives 30000 min plus 8000 AGP after three years with the 7000 AGP coming one year into the contract. The others give non-contract appointments, but 7000 AGP comes after 4 years and 8000 AGP after another 5 years (unless one quits and applies for direct recruitment as associate prof).

  33. Abi said...

    @iitmsriram: You said, "btw, is that post really from THE Gautam Barua? How can one tell?"

    Oops, my bad. I should have left a comment here too. That comment is indeed from Prof. Gautam Barua. Please take a look at this post.

  34. Anonymous said...

    To Anonymous_(10.14 pm)
    Dear Mr. Anonymous,
    I am not sure what personal grudge you have about Prof. Barua or IITG but clearly it shows clearly how immature person you are :). Being alumuns of IITG I know very well about facts and Prof. Barua.
    I haven't found even a single person who had said any negative comment about Prof. Barua infact people see him one of the very positive and highly motivated person. Infact today I met a senior faculy of IITD and you know his first comment was "IITG has very good director as Prof. Barua".
    Person like you have some problem in your life and putting your frustration here.

    God Bless You

  35. Anonymous said...

    It is this mentality like you said, that "Dont care about those people who will leave IIX after 2-3 yrs because of bla blah blah..." Reason: these people do not have the right mind-set, temperament to get accustomed with the system. So forget about those.

    Unfortunately this mindset persists among most of the IIX profs/HOD. And they just forget their own past when they themselves were in dilemma whether to return India as IIX faculty or not. Have you guys ever calculated how many good talents India have lost due to this mentality. Why we cant put extra effort to convince these "after 2-3 yrs back-packing" candidates..why cant we make the necessary changes to retain these talents.
    As report says that the attrition rate in IIX nearly zero that means either these "2-3 yrs backpacking" candidates did not get an offer from IIX or simply they did not do it... because it is very much common dilemma which every indian faced in the past when they considered to return India as IIX faculty. That surely plays in the back of everyone's mind about the faith on the India's evaluation system. Well i want to mention here that this is not the only dont put too much weight on this..this one among many..

    Regarding 1 yr probation note yes you are right its always there. but as you said hardly anyone has been terminated after 1 year in the history.
    At last i want to say that, nobody will complain about this tenure system even if you make it 5 yrs tenure like usa IF ONLY IF you make the salary very high and competitive like 1 lac per month which is insane considering the fact that 60% of our population live below the poverty line. Look we all understand these things. So why India wants to emulate the USA system when you cant adopt the complete model. In USA professor job is considered among the best jobs due to high salary with relatively low stress and job satisfaction(See the recent report in which prof job ranks as 3rd in USA). But same is not true in India. if you cant pay that 'insane' salary which i dont support either, then you dont have right to follow that insane (OCAP) model.
    In short i just wanted to explain you what a current postdoc/phd stdnt thinks or decides when S/he compares his/her chances of getting successful in IIX compaed to Univ/industry in USA. Why S/he will put his/her career at stake for 3 yrs in India where S/he can be more successful in USA during those 3yrs.
    In other word, although IIX facult job has many drawbacks like lack of facilities, resources,doubt over the administrative system, corruption, evaluation system...IT was that Permanency, JOB SECURITY which influence a person to make his/her decision to join as IIX faculty..

    Another news: One of my friend who got the offer letter from one of IIX recently got offer from Dupont, Hyd around 15lacs per annum and he decided to go for company. So in the current condition if someone wants to return India S/he has choice to join Industry..Imagine what will happen if S/he get OCAP offer?

  36. iitmsriram said...


    Please dont put words in my mouth; I have not used any of the phrases don't care, mind-set, temperament etc etc. I do not wish to and I have not made any value judgement; I have merely stated what I have observed over some years - that people with certain expectations will end up being unhappy and leave IIX within 2-3 years. This is not a pleasant experience for anyone involved. Avoidable, no?

  37. Anonymous said...

    iitmsriram wrote:
    The OCAP is entitled to every right and privilege of a regular AP, except permanency. Yes, the salary is lower, but I understand the IIT directors are working on a formula that they can apply and make it more attractive. If the salary is bumped up closer to that of a regular AP, whats the problem with OCAP?

    Prof. Sriram, I agree with you that if the OCAP salary is bumped up closer to that of a regular AP then the OCAP position is a decent deal for a fresh PhD. But I've one more issue -- don't you think the OCAP will be delayed in his/her career by three years?

    For example, previously a new recruit could usually be promoted to an Associate Professor in, say, six years (assuming the candidate is deserving of the promotion, of course). In the new system, the new recruit (OCAP, not regular AP) will become a regular AP in three years, then spend three years in the 30,000 scale, then, say, three more years in the 37,400 scale before becoming an Associate Professor -- that's a total of nine years from recruitment.

    So if my way of thinking is correct (I may be wrong), the problem is not so much that the OCAP is paid less for the first three years, but that he loses the final three years' salary of his career, compared to someone who joined as a regular AP.

    -- NP

  38. iitmsriram said...

    Dear NP,

    Become regular AP in 3 years - OK

    Spend 3 years in 30,000 scale - OK

    Then, 3 more years in 37400 scale before becoming Associat Prof - why?

    The rules as of today require 8 years experience to become Asso Prof, but with the 6th PC, this will become 6 years. Even today, differnt IIXs are implementing differently and the 8 years requirement is being interpreted in a flexible manner. After revision, one can automatically go to 37400 scale or at the same time (or maybe a few months later) go for associate prof promotion. Of course, this will work effectively only if there is an annual (or so) process for appointment of associate professors and I have been pressing for this at IITM. Even if one gets this a year or two after eligibility is achieved, this would still be a significant improvement from the current status; in the last 10 years, the mean (and median) time after PhD to become associate prof at IITM is about 9.4 years.

    I am not sure I see your point about losing the last three years' of ones salary; well before that, one would reach the maximum of the scale (and stagnate), waiting for the next pay commission to see anything more than the DA increase in the salary.

  39. Anonymous said...

    Dear Prof. Sriram:

    Thank you for the clarification. If OCAPs can be promoted to Associate Professors at around the same time as someone who started as a regular AP (hopefully annual appointments will work out in the near future) then I don't see any issue with the OCAP position.

    About losing the last three years' salary (this is based on my wrong assumption that an OCAP will be promoted three years after a regular AP -- hence the point is moot, but I'll explain what I meant for "academic purposes"):

    Let's say person A starts as a regular AP at the age of 27. He works for 38 years. Let's say he spends 6 years as an AP, 6 years as an Associate P and 26 years as a P. Person B is also 27 years old and starts as an OCAP. He also works for 38 years -- 3 as an OCAP, 6 as an AP, 6 as an Associate P, but only 23 as a P, before he has to retire. So, the OCAP starter earns a Professor's salary for three years less than someone who starts as a regular AP.

    Professor, I also have two more questions.

    1. Has a decision been made about what is to happen with people who were given offers for a regular AP position in the last few months but have not joined the IIT yet? Will the old offers be revoked and new OCAP offers sent out? Or will the regular AP offer still stand? You did mention a few days ago on Prof. Giri's blog that a final decision had not been made at that point.

    It's just a psychological thing -- there's not much difference between scoring 99 runs and 100 runs, but the latter just looks good on the score board and in the record books.

    2. And finally [I promise :-)], about this line you posted:
    "... in the last 10 years, the mean (and median) time after PhD to become associate prof at IITM is about 9.4 years."

    You mention the number of years required to get to Associate Professor after PhD (as opposed to: "after joining the IIT"). I know you posted it as supporting data for the point you were making, but it made me think -- does this mean that someone who joins with postdoc experience gets promoted sooner than someone who joins right after a PhD -- even if they joined the IIT at the same time? Or is that (number of postdoc years) not the criterion for promotion at all?

    Once again, thank you for answering our questions and commenting on these blogs.

    -- NP

  40. Dr. D.R.Kaushal said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  41. Dr. D.R.Kaushal said...

    AGPs 9000 and 9500 are similar as they have same associated benfits. AGPs 10500 and 12000 are also same w.r.t. the associated benifits. Further, all these AGPs are in same pay band 4.

    Hence, if an Asstt. Prof. crosses the minimum pay of (42800+9500) after 4 increments in PB4, he will automatically get Associate Prof. designation. He will not require to appear in any interview. Hence all the assistant professors eligible for PB4 on 1.1.2006 will automatically redesignated as Associate Professor on 1.7.2009.

    The same concept applies to redesignation of Professor as Senior Professor.

    However, interview will be must for Associate Professors to get the designation of Professor.

  42. iitmsriram said...

    Dear NP,

    OK, I got your 'academic' point; I dont think you got my similar point about stagnation. There is little difference between 23 or 27 years as a professor - long before that many years, one would hit the maximum of the scale and stagnate without annual increments. This is an existing reality and the 6th pay commission makes it worse by removing the stagnation increments that were available earlier. About the status of pending offers, I dont have any information yet, but I dont think it would be possible to withdraw an offer that has been made. And, about the 'final' point (no, dont make it final, keep it coming; these questions and answers live on in the net and people may actually find it useful) - yes, the key is years of experience, as long as one has been in the IIX system for at least 2-3 years, so one is not seen as a total stranger with an unknown potential to integrate into the system. The promotion decision will hinge on the record; for someone with some postdoc experience, the record will likely show more publications and stuff and hence this person is likely to get promoted earlier than someone else who joins at the same time but with less or no prior experience. I am happy to share whatever I know with anyone who might benefit from that knowledge.

  43. iitmsriram said...


    Can you tell us where you got this information about redesignation ("will automatically get Associate Prof. designation")? IIX's have never had redesignation and promotion is by selection committee only. There may be an interview as in IITs or peer review based as in IISc, but the process is by selection, not automatic redesignation. The procedures you mention are applicable only in UGC and hence in NIT.

  44. Dr. D.R.Kaushal said...


    It is obvious. Technically, AGP 9000 and 9500 are same. If assistant professor crosses (Basic+AGP) of associate professor, he is no way lesser than associate as increment is based on (Basic+AGP). Hence, he is ought to be redesignated. I saw it somewhere in 6CPC document. Let me relocate it. I will post that clause here asap.

  45. Anonymous said...

    Anonymous said... (on Thursday, October 08, 2009 10:53:00 PM)

    IIT Guwahati is a shame in the IIT system. They have been playing regional cards for promotion. Someone from that region gets promotion before others. A very large no. of people left IITG. Now, they have a rule that unless someone works there for 7 years, the person will not get all the benefits when he joins somewhere else. I joined there without knowing the details - somehow managed to escape. I wonder why IIT teachers federation doesn't talk about these issues.

    Here is my response:

    1. Please don't make such unsubstantiated comments like regionalism. Do you have any statistical data to back your statement that local people get preference ?

    2. Admit it, you came to IIT-G because you did not get anywhere else. You simply used it as a launching pad because you were not good enough for other IITs. IIT-G gave you an outstanding work environment where you could thrive and jump elsewhere and badmouth IIT-G.

    In this context it might interest you to note that several faculty members who left IIT-G (on lien) to join some institute in their hometown came back in a matter of months.

    3. The claim that you "joined there without knowing the details" especially about the 7-year rule is unbelievable. The appointment letter clearly states this clause. Either you are lying or you do not have the basic IQ to understand the terms and conditions, either of which should disqualify you as a IIT faculty.

  46. Anonymous said...

    Dear All,
    I have a small doubt. I am currently an Assistant Prof (joined in June-08). Prior to this I was a post-doc for 2 years (out of which 1 year 4 months as a Post-PhD, as I got degree 6 months after joining for Post-doc).Currently I am having a (regular) AP position. In fact I have also got the confirmation.

    Now what will be my salary? Will I get PB-4? In other words will my previous experience be counted while putting me in PB-4? I have already completed 1 year in "service" and I have 2 years of post-doc experience.

    Is it left to the interpretation by the directors, as there are no clear guidelines as in UGC. (In UGC system, the incumbent readers directly move to PB-4 (ref: UGC notification dated 23-09), which are directly mapped with the AP in IIT system) OR IIT council will/can issue a notification?

    The administration here told me that they will put me in PB-3 now. After completion of 3 years of service in existing 1200 scale, I will be eligible for PB-4. i.e. If somebody has 3 years service in 12K scale, then (s)he can move to PB4.

    So the question is: If UGC can issue a notification to treat the incumbents separetely, then why not IITs?

  47. Dr. D.R.Kaushal said...

    UGC notification dated 23-09 is still in draft form:

    It will be finalised after a series of meetings of UGC and MHRD. IIT will be in a position to ask PB4 for pre-revised basic of 12000, only when it comes in the UGC final notification.

  48. iitmsriram said...

    It is not simply that the notification dated 23/9 is in draft form; it was not in draft form till a few days ago! It was originally put up on the UGC site with the cover page as a letter from the secretary UGC to the publication division, stating to be published in the gazette. Now that it is causing some waves, it has become a draft document, being the recommendations of an expert committee. I have been put in touch with a joint secretary in MHRD to highlight the implications of this notification for IIX. Incidentally, Kaushal, you will not find any 6th pc documentation about redesignation in IIX; we have never had redesignation and I dont think we are about to, now.

  49. iitmsriram said...

    I can't believe I did not respond to PS's assertion here in the second comment dated Oct 8 claiming that salaries offered at the entry level are going to decline. I can restate what I posted elsewhere in giridhar's blog.

    "I will give gross figures assuming 'metro' allowance(applicable to chennai, mumbai, delhi, bengalure etc) excluding house rent allowance. If you joined as entry level assistant professor three years ago, your
    starting gross salary at IIX would have been 22620. Lets leave aside
    higher joining pay for now since the same kind of allowance can be given in the old and new schemes. Perhaps many were getting 2-3 steps up this way which would have pushed this figure up to 25k. If you joined last year, the starting gross would have been 28k minimum. And if you joined today before the pay revision, the minimum gross would be almost 31k. If you joined today post-pay-revision as assistant professor on contract with fresh PhD and no experience, the minimum gross would be 37262. If you have three years experience, the pre-revised minimum pay as of today would be
    about 34k; post revision, the three years experience would qualify for appointment as regular assistant professor with a minimum gross of 52k. If anyone wants, I can break out the details; there are no mistakes in my calculations."

    Subsequently I had posted the details of how these numbers came about and a link to that is given in this original posting.

  50. Anonymous said...

    You are right about the increased salary for even Asst. Prof. on contract. But the important point, is that the reason for a Pay Commission is to provide a once-in-ten years quantum jump in the salaries relative to salaries in various sectors..not just a delta raise over above the cumulative biannual increase due to D.A.. I mean, just look at the gross salary of a fresh Assistant Professor after the implementation of 5th PC and as on 2009 and corresponding salaries for the same qualifications in private sector. So saying that after Six PC you are going to get 20% more than what you would have got a month before is little consolation. People would have also joined in the recent past with the hope that the Six PC would reasonably redress the pay imbalance between IIX and private sector pay for similarly qualified persons. By pay I also include pay +perks for IIX faculty...and that is very important particularly at the entry level which has not been considered properly in my opinion. I feel that inspite of the presence of members from the engineering background, the opinion of the Chairman from the 'natural sciences' background has carried the day.

  51. Anonymous said...

    I stand corrected in my previous comment in case members like Prof. Amitabha Ghosh and others from IITs/NITs in the committee shared the opinion of the Chairman though the present Directors were not for the OCAP that too at a lower salary.

  52. Anonymous said...


    Look at this Clarifications on CCS (Revised) Rules, 2008 (OM dated 13.09.2008). Clarification 6 says "suitability of incumbents need not to be assessed for granting them higher grade pay and incumbents will automatically be granted the higher grade pay". I dont know what exactly it means. But, if AGP 9000 and 9500 are considered technically same, existing stagnant assistant professors can use this clause in their favor.

  53. iitmsriram said...

    Dear anon@9:35 am,

    Man, talk about quoting out of context. I doubt that you "dont know what exactly it means." Why not quote the first part of the sentence that you quoted, which states "Where all posts in one or more pre-revised scales are merged with a higher pre-revised scale and given a common replacement scale/grade pay," then, blah blah (automatically granted replacement scale / grade pay without assessment). Are you going to contend that assistant and associate professor posts have been merged? And, what does it mean to say 9000 grade pay and 9500 grade pay are technically same? Of course they are not technically same, one is higher than the other. They may practically mean the same, today, maybe, in terms of entitlement to benefits but that does not make them technically same.

  54. iitmsriram said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  55. Dr. D.R.Kaushal said...

    Dear Sriram

    I forgot to use my gmail id for sending previous post. Doesnt "common replacement scale/grade pay"
    means either of two. Look both pre-revised scales with starting basic 13260 and 16400 are merged and placed in PB4 with technically same AGPs of 9000 and 9500. Hence, suitability of incumbents need not to be assessed for granting them higher grade pay and incumbents will automatically be granted the higher grade pay as and when they are entitled to it as per the fitment tables.

    If AGPs of 9000 an 9500 are same in terms of entitlement to benefits then what else will make them technically same?

  56. iitmsriram said...

    Come on Kaushal,

    I think we will keep arguing this endlessly. But anyway ...

    There is no 13260 scale, you probably mean the 12000 scale; and, if you look at the notifications, the 12000 scale is not merged with anything. The 12000 scale is fixed into PB4 with grade pay of 8000 (yes, 8000, not 9000) while the 16400 scale is fixed into PB4 with grade pay of 9500. If you want to argue that PB4 is the scale, then the logical conclusion that follows is that there are only 4 pay scales now in government corresponding to the 4 pay bands, forget grade pay. I dont believe that is the intent at all. If you want to represent that this should be ground for redesignation, go ahead, and good luck.

  57. Anonymous said...

    I think it’s a nice forum to discuss some HOT issues, especially, when one IIT Director is actively replying. I really appreciate it for sparing his valuable time. I would like to divide my comments into two parts:
    Firstly, Faculty recruitment:
    Here, I would like to refer Prof. Barua’s comment: “Our selection process is one of the most liberal (being a relatively new IIT, this should be obvious) ………” In this regard one anonymous reader (Posted on Tuesday, October 13, 2009 9:41:00 AM ) make very nice comments. I would like to congratulate to bring this issue. I feel this kind of recruitment is shame for the country. Where HOD is a candidate for the Professor post, so he will try to promote the panel member’s students as a faculty of the department. No need to see whether the department is going to hail. As a result, anyone can see the faculty profile of IITG chemical engineering Dept as an example. B. Tech second class candidate was chosen in absentia, that even in Chemical engineering. I feel in our country we don’t have that acute shortage of qualified candidate. I know someone; he applied in IITG after doing Ph.D from a top level IIT and postdoc with some good publications. Fortunately he was not shortlisted at that time. After that seeing all these things, whenever I need a good laugh I see IITG chemical engineering website. Before claimming the fair recruitment by the Director he should see what politics the departments are doing. Again from a recent comment I really surprise to see someone has commented (Tuesday, October 13, 2009 2:56:00 PM) what to do with first class or second class in research? I am more than 100% sure that fellow is not that exceptional in research so, he was selected. That we can easily check within 5 minutes. In this regard, the memorandum submitted by the IIT federation to MHRD for better pay there it is mentioned “Especially at the entry level, we need to compete globally” to justify the requirement of better pay. This kind of statements is what extent fake that also proofs very well. Again, I apologized for my statement because there are many very knowledgeable and strong background faculties are there in the old IITs, it is true for them. I don’t want to hurt them. Similar thing is going on in many other IITs but IITG matter probably came to our knowledge. Another issue also new regarding the recruitment in new IITs all mentoring IIT are trying pushes their candidates. As an example, IIT patna, we have taken the statics and found 25% from IITG (from mentor), another 25% from IITKGP (may be mentor’s mentor or majority of IITG faculty from IITKGP that yet to be analyzed). IIT Gandhinagar Chemical Engg Dept: ~ 100% from (IITB, mentor) and overall ~ 44%. The directors of all IITs, Mr. Kapil Sibal, and all the academicians please see what’s going on!!!!!! Many more are there we don’t have time to analyze more or lack of information. Have a good laugh.
    Secondly, VI th Pay scale:
    I think during past one year majority of IIT faculty (also in other institutions) are most of the time discussing about this topic. Definitely it will affect the productivity of the country. I don’t think IITs faculties have discussed so seriously ever about how to increase the research productivity. Secondly, why there should not be performance based salary instead of brand name wise? Because, there is a wide variation in quality in a group of particular brand name. The Govt. should realize that new IITs cannot be up to the standard of old IITs, whereas many universities and NITs are maintaining a better standard than those. All over India there should be performance based salary. Then only productivity will increase. Please maintain the standard, do fair recruitment, and then ask for salary. All institute need to attract good faculty in the entry level, not only IITs. Better autonomy should not be misused for recruitment as mentioned above. In this regard, Prof. Ahuja has written a nice article here:

  58. Anonymous said...

    there is no post of "AP on contract", in the advert. of IIT Ropar, in the Times of India today. the date is 19.10.2009 in the advert. so become AP directly in IIT Ropar. cheeerrss