Wednesday, December 19, 2007

What kind of salaries did professors command in the 1920s?

Here's an ad for a professorship at IISc in electrical engineering. It appeared in the 18 August 1922 issue of "The Electrician" (which appears to be a journal of a professional society):

Applications are invited for the Professorship of Electrical Engineering in the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. Experience in teaching and research work an essential qualification. Salary from Rupees 1500 per mensem, according to experience, with passage and equipment allowance. A house is provided. The agreement will be for five years, and probably for three years thereafter. ...

What would be today's equivalent of Rs. 1500 per month in 1922? The mind boggles!

With its Centenary celebrations just round the corner, our Institute has made a great move in setting up a proper Archives Cell (you might want to read this Current Science editorial by Prof. Balaram on the importance of archives). The Cell has a basic website which I am sure will become better in scope and design in the months to come. It also organized a small exhibition of the Institute's history for the folks here; the recruitment ad at the beginning of this post came from the flier for the exhibition.

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Did I mention that we recently looked at faculty salaries in the US at the beginning of the 20th century?