Sreeradha Basu and Shreya Biswas have a story on the kinds of things IITs are doing to attract faculty: not just higher start-up money and travel grants for conferences, but also sign-up bonus, better housing, help in finding a position for spouses, etc. It's about time young faculty received some love:
In the past 10 months, IIT Kanpur has offered two to three top-notch candidates start-up grants of as much as Rs 1 crore, up from the usual Rs 25 lakh. During this time, it has made offers to 50 candidates, of whom some 30 have joined. "We have to think of ways to circumvent the fact that we have pay scale constraints," says Indranil Manna, director, IIT Kanpur.
IITs are focusing on research prospects, which academics often give more importance to than compensation. IIT Roorkee, for instance, has invested Rs 185 crore in research infrastructure in the past two years to attract potential candidates. An initial research grant of Rs 10 lakh is given to every individual who joins, says IIT-R director Pradipta Banerji. In the past few months, three faculty members have submitted proposals worth Rs 3.5 crore, which they will get.
IIT Kharagpur is toeing a similar line. The institute has increased the faculty start-up grant from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 28 lakh, which is now given within a month compared with six to 12 months earlier. "We are also giving total grants of Rs 14 crore for special research that is competitive and collaborative. If we see a huge interest in this, we will increase the overall quantum of grants next year," says PP Chakarabarti, director, IIT Kharagpur.