Saturday, September 08, 2007

UGC sets up a Pay Commission

The Sixth Pay Commission was set up in October 2006 with Justice B.N.Srikrishna as the Chairman, and it is expected to submit its recommendations by March or April of 2008 (just about seven months from now). It has been asked to "examine the principles, the date of effect thereof that should govern the structure of pay, allowances and other facilities/benefits" that would govern the Central Government employees. When it finishes its work, a cascade of smaller pay commissions would be created for individual sectors (such as banking, higher education, etc) that are nominally autonomous but are 'owned' by the government. Another branch of this cascade would lead to the creation of pay commissions by individual state governments.

For example, when the Fifth Pay Commission submitted its recommendations in mid 1990s, the Universities Grants Commission (UGC) had a smaller one that looked into the pay structure of faculty (and other staff members) in universities and colleges. Similarly, a separate committee headed Dr. U.R. Rao (ex-Secretary at the Department of Space) recommended a new pay structure for the faculty in the so-called Institutions of National Importance (which include the IITs, IISc, IIMs, ...)

I don't know if UGC is breaking with tradition here, but I was certainly surprised to learn this morning that UGC has appointed a committee -- even before the Sixth Pay Commission has finished its work -- to "review the pay scales of teachers in universities and colleges." This committee is headed by Prof. G.K. Chadha, former vice-chancellor of JNU and currently member of the PM’s Economic Advisory Council. And its mandate is quite broad:

... [It] will review implementation of the previous decision of the government/UGC under scheme of revision of pay scales approved for university and college teachers, librarians, physical education personnel and other academic staff.

It will also evaluate extent to which earlier recommendations in relation to qualifications, service conditions and pay-scales have been implemented. ... [It] will also examine the present structure of emoluments and conditions of service ... and suggest revision in the structure, taking into account the minimum qualifications, career advancement opportunities and total packet of benefits available to them (such as superannuation benefits, medical, housing facilities, etc).

It will examine cases of anomalies in the pay structure or career advancement opportunities for academic staff after the last pay revision and suggest remedial measures.

The committee may initiate necessary studies and analysis in regard to the terms of reference, keeping in mind demands and requirements of universities and higher education institutions.

The other members of this committee are: Atul Sharma (former Vice Chancellor, Rajiv Gandhi University, Itanagar); G Padmanaban (former Director, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore); Sudeep Banerjee (Chancellor, National University for Educational Planning & Administration, New Delhi), and Manimala Das (Principal, Bathune College, Kolkata).

* * *

With UGC getting all proactive on the faculty salaries front, there is going to be great pressure on the government to set up a similar committee for IITs, IIMs, and other such INIs.


  1. Anonymous said...

    It is good that atleast now Government is becoming serious about the issue of Pay Revision in Universities. The younger generation looks abroad for higher education. The total number of Ph.Ds produced in the key sector of computer science in the whole country last year was less than 3 dozen! In the present system a fresh Ph.D who joins the University as a lecturer will remain at a lower scale compared to his student who may get a Ph.D in 3 years, if the student joins any other sector of government like DRDO, ISRO, DAE or CSIR. That is because in the present system he will take 4 years to reach the entry level pay for a Ph.D in those organisations. It shows that government has purposefully downgraded the teaching profession in the past without knowing that when they push down the teacher, the pupils are going down with him. Research has come to a stand still in most of the state Universities. There is a huge gap in the need and recruitment. In many sectors qualified people are simply not available when private sector and abroad opportunities are many. In the present era the most important asset is information. Because it requires hard discipline to acquire it, a developing country like India is in a better position to distribute it as we got a large pool of willing young people to assimilate it provided they were given the right teachers. Teaching requires good teacher more than any other resource. The challenge is that to generate a quality University teacher, the total number of years of education required is about 27 years (including Post doctoral experience). When a national government was bold enough to keep such people at an entry level pay of Rs.9100/- no wonder the younger generation looks at other countries with awe for higher education. It is good that the present academician Prime Minister started recognising the importance of higher education by a variety of measures including a 4 times increase in the Plan allocation to this sector.

  2. Unknown said...

    Salary & Govt. Concessions for a Member of Parliament (MP)
    Monthly Salary : 12,000
    Expense for Constitution per month : 10,000
    Office expenditure per month : 14,000
    Traveling concession (Rs. 8 per km) : 48,000 ( eg.For a visit from kerala to Delhi & return: 6000 km)

    Daily DA TA during parliament meets : 500/day

    Charge for 1 class (A/C) in train: Free (For any number of times)
    (All over India )

    Charge for Business Class in flights : Free for 40 trips / year (With wife or P.A.)

    Rent for MP hostel at Delhi : Free

    Electricity costs at home : Free up to 50,000 units

    Local phone call charge : Free up to 1 ,70,000 calls.

    TOTAL expense for a MP [having no qualification] per year : 32,00,000 [i.e. 2.66 lakh/month]

    TOTAL expense for 5 years : 1,60,00,000

    For 534 MPs, the expense for 5 years :
    8,54,40,00,000 (nearly 855 crores)
    In fact Ph.Ds in Computer is only 3 dozen!! last year...

    If one goes by the choice of the students taking up graduate courses one will find that there are hardly any takers for science courses. There was a time when taking up a science course was an honour.

    Now young students prefer to take course which fetch good salaries in the market like commerce, economics and management etc. Students are not taking up courses in science because the salaries are comparatively low and not much scope for career advancement.

    Think for a moment that if bright students are going for commerce, economics and management and such like courses, will we have people to do scientific research? Who will do research on new molecules or develop new alloys or who will look after our atomic energy and our space programme? Scientists are the back-bone of any country whether it is USA, Russia, Korea or Japan.

    If we do not make scientific research attractive enough in terms of good salaries bright young students will go for courses like commerce, economics which may give them good salaries but will not be an asset to the nation.

    It is reported that the salaries of the scientists even in Pakistan are higher than the salaries of the scientists in India. One would, therefore, like to draw attention of the Pay Commission to look into the salaries of the scientists engaged in research and make them more attractive so that young students choose research in science as a career over purely commercial careers. Why are countries like America, Japan, Korea or even China economic powers? It is because of the technology they have in their country which is based on the scientific research of their scientists.

    It is always the endeavor of the bureaucrats that salaries of the Government employees whether that of scientists or any personnel engaged in research are below the salaries of the Joint Secretaries to the Government of India. Why should a scientist earn less than a bureaucrat?

    Will the Sixth Pay Commission be able to give different recommendations which gives prominence to scientists in every field of scientific research?

    Dr. Asimananda Khandual
    RA, Dept. of computing,
    Hong Kong Polytechnic Universisity

  3. Anonymous said...

    Dear Prof. Abhinandan,
    I will be graduating next year with a PhD from a top US university. I have been applying for faculty jobs in India. My personal interactions with several faculty at a couple of institutions have given me some idea about the pros and cons of working in India. I see there is a change in policies accommodating faculty unlike before (research money, collaborations, lab space, etc). Even though the remuneration is not comparable to that of an entry level software engineer, the idea of teaching in India has been attractive.
    I got to know about your blog from a former IISc student. It would be very useful if you could share some of your experiences (academic) related to teaching and research in India at a top Institute.


  4. Anonymous said...

    No one who is not living in Orissa can ever imagine the extent of deprivation and torture that very senior academics of the Orissa Education Service(Govt.College Service)are subjected to in Orissa.The bureaucracy rules the stage whereas political leaders merely occupy it. State Civil Service has suceeded in abolishing UGC scales of pay enjoyed by the college teachers since 1974,preventing promotions for the past 11 years. Senior Readers with 35yrs of Govt.service are treated as mere State Govt.Deputy Secretaries. CM Naveen Patnaik is 100%dependent on civil service. OES is his blind spot.Unless GOI imposes UGC scale on Orissa and treats all Readers placed in Rs.14940-18300 with 15 years as Readers ,both serving & retired, with retrospective effect Jan 2004the college teacher will be downgraded 7 devoured by sharks in the Govt. Transfer from one end of Orissa to another end once a year is the weapon to break the academic and send him on his knees.

  5. Anonymous said...

    I wish to draw the attention of Prof. Chaddha committee on the genuine demand of the DUTA and FEDCUTA to first readdress the sharp anomaly of the arbitrary UGC orders under the 5th Pay Commission to allow promotion to Central University Teachers from an unreasoned date of 27.07.1998, despite the implementation of the whole 5th pay package from 01.01.1996. This order spoiled the professional career of all those university teachers who were already eligible for promotion on or before 01.01.1996, as per UGC criteria, and faced tough screening and selection process but still got the promotion with effect from not earlier than 27.07.1998 without any rhyme and reason. This way the highest qualified community was befooled by the highest educational grants commission of India under flimsy bureaucratic orders.
    After the due justice to the sufferers, as above, their redressed salary should be decided from their date of eligibility (not 27. 07. 1998, an arbitrary date decided by 5th Pay Commission). I urge with the Chairman of the 6th Pay Commission of Prof. Chaddha to consider the date of eligibility and suggest necessary provisions while fixing on 01.01.2006.
    It is important to tender the request that the Teachers who served as a Professor for at least five years or above, may please be given at least three extra increments over and above the one recommended to be fixed as per Central Govt. Gazette Notification on Pay Fixation Formula, dated 30.08.2008 under the 6th Pay Commission within the frame work (pay scale) of a Professor awaited from the UGC; coupled with allowing a Selection/Super Selection Grade to the Professors with 10 years of continuous service in a Central University. This will be the minimum courtesy from the MHRD to honour this highest literate position under the Govt. of India who builds up and shapes the able human resources through this noble profession to carefully and graciously command different spheres of the whole nation.
    Further, I do agree with Professor Chaddha that teachers’ periodical appraisal and emphasis on the maintenance of discipline, morality and sense of integrity should be the part and parcel of the new pay package.