Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Fairness in pay hike recommendations

Another title for this post would be: Why did the university faculty unions accept the new pay regime that's so unfair towards their lecturers and readers?

* * *

How fair have the pay hike recommendations been across different levels in the IITs? How fair are they for our university faculty?

More specifically, are the pay raises for full professors roughly in line with those for assistant professors?

Such a comparison is difficult if one considers people who have been in service for a while -- they would have accumulated a bunch of increments depending on their employment history. The difficulty is due to the complex and different ways in which old salaries are mapped to the new ones.

However, this comparison is possible at the starting point for each position. Thus, I pose the question and answer it in the rest of the post:

If a person joins at the lowest salary in Level X (for which, let's assume he/she has just the right qualification) in December 2005, how large would her salary become in January 2006, the kick-off month for the new salary scheme?

This comparison is in terms of the basic pay (inflation adjustments will not affect this calculation, because they are a certain fraction of the basic pay).

In the old scheme, it would be the start of the salary scale, and in the new scale, it is the corresponding salary in the new scheme, which is the sum of the "Band Pay" and the "Academic Grade Pay."

Let me do this first for IIXs (where X=T, M, Sc, SER, ...):

Position Old starting salary New starting salary Ratio
Full Professor 18,400 58,500
Associate Professor 16,400 52,300
Assistant Professor 12,000 38,000

Okay, the fairness question can be answered now. It's pretty fair.

The only problem is that many freshly recruited assistant professors come in with some increments; by a strange quirk, MHRD has mapped all their (old) salaries to the same new salary of 38,000! It's pretty bad: some 10 salary levels (i.e., 12,000 + 9 increments) have been grouped together, and they have been made equivalent to 38,000.

So, to this extent, the new pay regime is unfair towards the assistant professors. I believe one of the demands is for a better (preferably, 1-to-1) mapping of increments in the two scales.

I have already written about how assistant professors are demanding that they move automatically to Pay Band 4 after three years. This demand is likely to be accepted; if it happens, it's the corresponding ratio of old salary to the new one (at the minimum of the scale) will be nearly 3.5 (45,400 / 13,260). This is a good thing.

* * *

Let's now turn to how this shakes out for faculty members in universities. Here, the number of positions is larger.

Position Old starting salary New starting salary Ratio
Professor 16,400 50,890
Reader 12,000 30,320
Senior Lecturer 10,000 25,600
Lecturer 8,000 21,600

If you keep your focus on the last column, the impact is clear: the new pay scheme is pretty unfair to faculty at lower levels.

There's another comparison that one can make across the two tables. In the old scheme, the starting salaries were the same for university professors and IIT associate professors -- Rs. 16,400. But their salaries in the new scheme favour the latter by nearly 3%.

Similarly, in the old scheme, the starting salaries of university readers and IIT assistant professors were the same: 12,000. In the new scheme, however, they are drastically different, however. While it is 30,300 for the former, it is 25 % higher for the latter at 38,000!

* * *

Thus, it would appear that the IIT faculty really do not have a case: their salary structure is a lot fairer than in the universities, and their relative position with respect to similarly situated university faculty is favourable. Then, where's the problem?

The problems are those that I described in my earlier post. The IIT faculty demand, mainly, that

  • assistant professors move automatically to Pay Band 4 (like the university readers do), and

  • the AGP for associate professors go up from 9,500 to 10,000 (as the university professors have got).

The second demand may appear trivial, but it's not. In the new regime, AGP is the status marker, and certain benefits are tied to the AGP. I also understand that the difference in AGP of 9,500 and 10,000 is pretty large in terms of a certain perks -- specifically, the transport allowance [Can someone confirm this?]. I'm not very sure about the exact quantum of the jump, but I'm told that it's substantial.

* * *

This little exercise makes me wonder why the university folks have accepted a deal that's so patently unfair towards their junior faculty. Is it because they don't care too much about their ability to attract talented youth to join their ranks? Or their faculty unions are loaded with the senior folks who just don't give a damn?

Inquiring minds would like to know.


  1. Anonymous said...

    Abi, could you please clarify -

    In the new scale Readers getting
    30,320 (22,320+8,000) when promoted to Professors will get 50,890
    (40,890+10,000). IIT Asst. Profs getting 38,000 (30,000+8,000) when promoted to Assoc. prof. will get 52,300 (42,800+9,500). This net amt for IIT Assoc. prof is still bigger than Profs at university. So what is their problem with Rs. 500 lower for AGP ? Will this affect future increments in any way ? How exactly will a lower AGP affect them negatively monetarily ?
    Apart from having an intermediate step of Assoc. Prof. before becoming Prof. (which the readers become directly) what is the problem with IIT Asst. Profs.

    You are right more than the IIT Asst. Profs it is the univ readers (lectures and senior lectures) who should be going on strike....unless you say that the lower salary is coz of no research load and/or not prestigious/premier insti as the IIT. Though this may be the case for most univs/colleges I would say that the middle-ranking univs/instis who are not doing so bad in research output or will sincerely try to improve their research output in future are forever condemned to lower scale coz of them not being premier. Again this is **if** they improve.
    So instead of IIXs and non-IIXs maybe we should also move towards institute accreditation based pay structure with strong performance related compensation.

  2. Anonymous said...

    Look below the comparison

    Prer IIT UGC

    12840: 38000 47400 Diff= 9400
    13260: 38000 47400 Diff= 9400
    13680: 38000 47400 Diff= 9400
    14100: 38000 47400 Diff= 9400
    14520: 38000 47400 Diff= 9400
    14940: 38000 48530 Diff=10530
    15360: 38000 48530 Diff=10530
    15780: 38000 49690 Diff=11690
    16200: 38140 49690 Diff=11550
    16620: 38920 50890 Diff=11970
    17040: 39700 50890 Diff=11190
    17460: 40480 52120 Diff=11640
    17880: 41260 52120 Diff=10860
    18300: 42040 53390 Diff=11350
    18720: 42820 53390 Diff=10570
    19140: 43610 54700 Diff=11090
    19560: 44390 54700 Diff=10310

  3. Anonymous said...

    The same thing started happening with prerevised scale of 16400 after a basic of 18200 (i.e. 5 years of service).

  4. Anonymous said...

    my sincere advise to all u assholes is that.. look at things in totality.. guys like u r expert in publishing blogs in polished language to impress young girls around.. if u r smart enough, why dont u put fitment tables for both IIT and UGC.. and than compare salaries w.r.t. prerevised basic.. fucking in air will not prove u a play boy.

    and will GOI explain the reason for giving an IIT guy less salary than his UGC counterpart after few years of service in a particular scale???

    so stop writting blogs on payscales, as whatever damage GOI has planned to do to IIT system, they will do.. a few assholes here and there wont increase the magnitude of this damage.

  5. Abi said...

    @Anon (1,3,4,5,6): Chill out!

    Your table is so conveniently loaded with data for university readers with more than three years of experience (when they enter Pay Band 4). I have said both in this post and in a previous one that IIT faculty are right to demand a similar deal (wherein assistant professors move to PB 4 after three years). I have also said that their demand is likely to be accepted.

    So, will you spare us from the uninformed garbage you have been spewing here?

    @Anon2: As I admitted in the post, I am not sure about the details; I understand that the transport allowance is the one that makes a big jump when AGP goes from 9,500 to 10,000. When I get the exact figures, I'll report back here.

    As for the problem with assistant professors, it's about the movement to Pay Band 4 after three years (which university readers get automatically). [You are not correct in suggesting that readers go from 30,320 to 50,890. After three years as readers, they go to the intermediate level of 46,400 -- (PB4 + 9,000). It's this intermediate step that has been denied to assistant professors, and it is the removal of this anomaly they are demanding. ]

    But, I'm glad you understood my broader point: what the university lecturers and readers have got from this pay commission is an absolutely bad deal. I really wonder why the university faculty unions have accepted the deal they were offered without any protest.

  6. Anonymous said...

    Dear look at this Basic+AGP for prerevised pay scale strating from 16400:

    Pre IIT UGC
    19100 52890 53390
    19550 54200 54700
    20000 54200 54700
    20450 55550 56050
    20900 55550 56050
    21400 56940 57440

    Remember, these figures has nothing to do with TA.

  7. Anonymous said...

    on what basis u r jumping to conclusion that "their demand is likely to be accepted"... even directors of IITs are not that hopeful... thatswhy i asked u to stop fucking in air.. how can u write an article on such an important issue by assuming something without any basis.. and if u r tabulating some data.. it is always desirable to show it at joining, after 3,6,9, 12 and 15 years.. for your kind information, generally in IIT, a faculty member takes around 15-30 years for promotion from assistant professor to professor post.

  8. Anonymous said...

    Assistant Professors of IIXs are
    at an disadvantage after 3 years of
    service compared to the UGC Readers.
    Again the entitlements are at stake since the pay band and AGP are markers that determine the administrative consequences and how nonsense are the practical entitlements (TA/DA etc). Also, i observe that IIT faculties do not take 15 years to become prof.s any longer.. I know a whole bunch of people who have made it to full prof in 8-10 years in the 2000-2008 period. Also, in the GOI notification now, minimum post PHD qualification for an Associate Professor has been reduced to 6 years from 8 years. This means the IITs can beat the predicament of the Asstt Prof.s by accelerating the promotion process by literally interpreting the GOI notification. Actually it is in the IISc that the Assistant Professors would suffer the most, since the senior chaps in IISc would never recognize this opportunity posed in the GOI document and would continue to make promotion a tight-ass process by delaying even genuine cases by 2 years unless the candidate happens to be connoisseur of licking off butts.

  9. Anonymous said...

    Btw what/why is the reason behind the introduction of intermediate compensation state of PB-4 between Reader and Prof. in univs and between Asst. Prof and Assoc. Prof. in IIXs ? Is this some kind of bonus or perk ? Was it there in the pre-revised scale ? Are there any such intermediate compensation states between any two levels or is it only for Reader-Prof/Asst.-Assoc. Prof ?

  10. புருனோ Bruno said...

    // Or their faculty unions are loaded with the senior folks who just don't give a damn?//


    "I got so low when I was an Asst Prof - Why should he get this much" attitude

  11. Anonymous said...

    Hi Abi

    Based on passion I am guessing the irritated Anonymous is a IIx faculty.

    Based on language and his style of writing, I shudder to think what he might be teaching to his students ! God save our future engineers !!


  12. புருனோ Bruno said...

    //The second demand may appear trivial, but it's not. In the new regime, AGP is the status marker, and certain benefits are tied to the AGP. I also understand that the difference in AGP of 9,500 and 10,000 is pretty large in terms of a certain perks -- specifically, the transport allowance [Can someone confirm this?]. I'm not very sure about the exact quantum of the jump, but I'm told that it's substantial.//

    You can see this page for the Transport Allowance

    This Page and the other pages linked there give some details about 6PC http://www.payanangal.in/2008/03/blog-post_24.html


    The above are for Central Govt

    May be there is some difference in Univ / IIT


    But Grade Pay is associated with a lot of issues like

    Transport Allowance
    Type of Quarters
    Loan Upper Limit


  13. Anonymous said...

    The central univs are spread out across the country with no strong,unified voice with clout as the IIXs. Therefore they prob. are not so vocal in airing their grievances. Btw what is the scenario for the state univs. in this pay revision ? What do they have to say ? The state univs. prob have a stronger political voice and union within each state. Or is that state univs too come under MHRD/UGC rules ?

  14. Abi said...

    @Bruno: Thanks for those details on your blog. It turns out that some of that information is a bit dated. There seems to be a more recent version from October 2008, which has a few minor differences with that you posted.

    @Anon (the most recent one): State universities come under a slightly different category, since quite a bit of their funding comes from the state government. Moreover (and this is my understanding) faculty salaries (and especially the perks) could differ from state to state.

    I am still surprised by the lack of collective action in the Central Universities, however.

  15. Unknown said...

    I stubled upon this website by chance and the observations/comments vis-a-vis IITS/IIMs and Universities are sickening.

    I have been at 3 premier Unviersities in India, studying working and I find that the an average faculty has no time or inclination to do any substative research that tranlates into real products for the coutnry. C N R Rao has published 400+ papers, he claims to have kissed the Nobel prize by a whisker many times YET not a single work of his has ever translated into a usable product. The Universities (other than universities like Central Univ of hyderabad) function from 10 am to 5 pm at best. Most of the teachers are out by 530 pm. Go to any IIT and one would find most laboratories working 24x7 come rain or sunshine. Many of the coutnry's defense and space program have succeeded on the basis of work executed at IITs and IIT faculty have done it for free as it was "secret work" and no payments were ever made as there could not be any documentation. IIT alumni are CEOs, Chancellors of many Universities/Corporations abroad. IITs generate their own corpus at the rate of at least 30 crore a year. Univerisity performance is zilch compared to IITs.
    Sibal talks of lack of publication compared to China. What the fellow misses is that in the intervening 30 years China has put in place a fantastic and efficient school system which allows students to perform at higher levels of reasoning and thought than College going Indian studenst can. Students get admitted to M. Tech. rpgram to IITs as back door entry just to get jobs by using IIT logo but they dont get jobs at par with B. Techs. Most of the students entering IITs whether at UG or PG level have to taught to unlear the rote learning stuff they have learnt and then they are trained in learning. They go off to greener pastures there after. The Ph. D. students that come to IITs will not get admission to even C grade colelges in US or Europe. They are unfit to be admitted to Ph. D. program yet they have to be taken in and their work done, theior thesis written by the supervisor as Sibal saab demands dertain no of Ph. D.s for selection to a higher post. Let Sibal saab free IIT faculty of the service conditon rules that prevent them from writing to any one higher up except through proper channel, let him allow IIT faculty freedom to mail him their views and he will then know what an ass hole he has been.
    With one stroke he has destroyed the IIT system and he claims to be doing good for higher education in india!