Saturday, October 10, 2009

OCAP salary at IIT-Guwahati: Gautam Barua responds

Prof. Gautam Barua, Director, IIT-G, has left a comment on my previous post on OCAP salary at his institution. I am reproducing below his comment in full:

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.)

In his e-mail, he says we should add a transport allowance of Rs. 2,032/-, which would bring the total starting salary for an OCAP at IIT-G to 42,307/- -- without house rent allowance.

* * *

Some observations and clarifications, in light of what Barua has written:

First of all, I thank Prof. Barua for his response.

  1. The second paragraph of his response is related to what some others (mostly anonymous commenters) had written. I won't address that part here.

  2. I'll address only the first paragraph, which is a direct response to my post.

    He says:

    Of course I meant the basic pay when I said Rs 22,000-23,000.

    I did consider this possibility -- that he was referring to the band pay in his statement -- so it's good to have it confirmed. Potential IIT-G faculty applicants now have a clearer picture of what they are likely to get as OCAPs.

  3. He also says:

    I never told the reporter that this is a bad pay. I had told her that the fact that we cannot offer a [regular] job up front is a bummer.

    It certainly is; we can all see it, without it being explicitly stated. It follows directly from the salary figures.

  4. He then adds:

    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.

    I read this stuff several times, and I'm still wondering what "getting around this" means here. [Update: Prof. Barua clarifies this point in his comment below.]

  5. One final point: He asks me not to blame him "for what a reporter has written."

    While I do appreciate this suggestion / advice / admonition, I just want to mention here that I did confirm with Pallavi that the statement attributed to him in her report was a direct quote -- just as I did confirm with him about whether that comment was indeed written by him.


  1. Anonymous said...

    I dont know about other IITs. But see the following link to know what is happening in IITD:

    It is regarding a rare delhi high court case, IITD administration vs. IITD Associate professor Dr Ashok Kumar Keshari who is facing charges of sexual harassment framed by his two female research scholars. Once thrown out for their underperformance, these female r/ss rejoined Ph.D. with other Professor of IITD only after they submitted sexual harrassment charges against Keshari. Keshari has gone to high court for speeding up the sexual harassment inquiry started by IITD and going on for last 1 year. On the basis of this, result of his Professorship interview is withheld by IITD.

    The contractual positions like OCAPs will give rise to such court cases more frequently. It is general practice in IITD to use faculty members on probation and research scholars by bigwigs to settle their score with opponents who are not supporting misdeeds. OCAPs, once come in existance will be the most vulnerable persons in IIT system. Bigwigs in IITs will definitely use them to the fullest for their vested interest. The promotion from contractual to regular AP post will depend on number of RTIs and court cases filed by a OCAP against the opponents of bigwigs who are at the helm of affairs in IITs.

  2. Anonymous said...

    MHRD notification says that
    "After one year of post Ph.D experience, OCAPs will be placed
    in the AGP of Rs.7000 p.m."

    I dont know, on what basis Prof. Barua is promising AGP of 7000 to fresh Ph.Ds. Is it again a case of slip of tongue?

    "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."

    BTW, why a guy having 3 years experience in AGP of 7000 will continue in IIT? He will join AGP of 8000 in some NIT or university, where his future will be more bright. In these institutes, he will be eligible definitely for Professor post with AGP of 10000 only after 6 years, whereas in IITs, he will require at least 6 years and will have to clear assoc. prof. interview in being eligible for prof. post with AGP of 10500.

    It is well known that AGP of 10000 and 10500 are similar in terms of benifits associated with them.

  3. Anonymous said...

    please read last sentance of 4th paragraph of my previous post as follows:
    "...whereas in IITs, he will require at least 7 years and will have to clear assoc. prof. interview in being eligible for prof. post with AGP of 10500."

  4. Gautam Barua IITG said...

    "getting around this" - I am sorry, I wasn't clear. We can make an offer of a regular position to a deserving candidate as soon as he completes his PhD. She will have to be on contract for the first three years and will automatically get into the regular cadre on completing these three years of service. She will not have to appear before another selection committee. It will be the same as a regular appointment we were giving earlier, except that the period of "probation" will now be now three years, instead of one earlier. Is this not "more" than what the order seems to allow? Therefore, are we not "getting around this"? :-). Re: 7000/-: a minor matter; let us not lose the woods by concentrating on trees. If you are going to get 22000/- presumably you already have a year's experience (that was the assumption in the example). These examples of NITs are not relevant here. It is a long explanation and this is not the right post for it.

    We are offering pay that is almost twice what we could offer earlier. So it is not at all a bad deal (the whole point of Pallavi's article). It could have been better, but please let us be clear where we stand. To address the point of what a regular AP will get, it is about 55,500/- (on 30,000 band pay and AGP of 8000). All these negative comments by "anonymous" should not be taken seriously.

    Please, no IITG bashing (you can bash me as much as you wish) anonymously. Do come out in the open so that we can engage in a fruitful discussion on where IITG stands(this is with reference to the "anonymous" comments in the earlier posting.)

  5. Anonymous said...

    Dear Prof. Barua

    "All these negative comments by "anonymous" should not be taken seriously."

    Please elaborate what negativity do you see in comments 1 to 3. I dont find anything irrelevant in these comments. These comments are written with solid proof and analysis. These comments are as important as yours. We should not blindly glorify whatever GOI has imposed on us. OCAPs will definitely not have smooth ride as you are suggesting them. Adhockism at such an important academic post will definitely have its serious consequences. Thats why such posts (earlier known as lecturers) were abolished long time back in most of the IITs.

  6. Anonymous said...

    Its true that promotion from OCAP to regular will not be easy. One has to first promoted to AGP 7000 and then AGP 8000. It means OCAP has to cross two hurdels (may be interviews or some sort of evaluations) for getting to be permanent. This 3 years probation is entirely different from earlier 1 year probation for AP, as in that case the AGP (or increment) was not changing, hence it was automatic transition from probation to permanent.

    Look what IITD administration has done to Dr. Suresh Bhalla:

    He is silver medalist of IITD 1995 batch, has 21 international publications and 261 international citations. He is assistant professor at IITD for last five years. Can you believe, he was not even called for interview last time for promotion to the post of associate professor. However, at the time of interview he was fulfilling all the eligibility conditions including 3 years of service as assistant prof.

    So guys, dont listen to any Director. It has more probability to get tenure in 5 years if you stay back in USA than you getting regular AP after 3 years of probation.

    Even if you dont be tenured in 3 to 5 years there, regular AP post will always be available to you in any of IITs here.

  7. Anonymous said...

    Dear Anno @11:43PM

    This is exactly what i commented in Abi's previous post. If GOI and IIX continue this mockery with OCAP post, people will be reluctant to join because you cannot put so much faith on India's evaluation procedure. Sorry if i hurt iitsriram or anybody. But this is a very much concern for most of the people. And i am sure many people will think that getting tenured in USA is much easier than in India. The probability of success in USA is much higher than India.


  8. Anonymous said...

    I fully concur with the anon comments. I have seen how the system works in India, and the best way to get promoted is to have an influential person(s) in the selection committee on your side.

    Let this be loud and clear - the main problem with OCAP is the ad-hoc nature. If I need to put myself at the mercy of the Indian system to first get an OCAP position, then get exploited by the department, and then put myself at the mercy of the system again to get a permanent position, I might as well search for a tenure in US. Tough though the tenure process may be over there, at least there is a MUCH higher chances of a fair assessment.

    Deans, directors and administrators might be in favor of OCAPs. After all, these blokes themselves wont have to go thru this route; on top of that, they will have these OCAPs who are in the most vulnerable position to be exploited.

    I am sure iitsriram has full faith in the system, which is why he is in favor of OCAP. I have lost faith in the Indian system, having seen what goes on here for the past few years, and am in no doubt that OCAP is step one to career disaster.

    Its much better to go abroad, do a post-doc and then return as a regular faculty any day any time.

    Hopefully, once the IITs are not able to find suitable OCAP candidates, the ones tom-tomign this position will see sense and get back to the older system.

  9. Pratik Ray said...

    Prof Barua, from the MHRD announcements it seems that AGP for fresh PhDs is Rs 6000, but your statement indicates 7k. Is this done by using any discretionary powers to given an additional increment right at the start.

    Similarly, I am puzzled at your statement that after 3 years they will be absorbed into regular cadre. May be I am wrong, but the MHRD announcements seem to indicate that following 3 years on contract (or even less for exceptional candidates) there will be a review following which the candidates will be regularized. This, then, would not mean "automatic" absorpiton into regular cadre, right? Could you be so kind so as to explain how the on-contract Asst Profs will be absorbed into regular cadre?

  10. Anonymous said...

    If Kapil Sibal is looking for a tenure system to improve the quality in IIX then OCAP is definitely not the answer. A newly hired faculty in the US system has got 5 years irrespective of the fact whether he/she is fresh out of PhD or has 2-3 years of post doc experience. However a new Assistant Professor in US usually gets significant startup, high salary, low course load, travel funding, laboratory space etc. Here the OCAP will get lower salary and sub standard startup. On the top of that will he be eligible to write external proposals for equipments, research projects etc. Will a OCAP be given low course load during the three years on contract. So I think drawing a parallel with the tenure system in US with the new formed OCAP is not appropriate. The proper procedure would have been to hire a new PhD or anyone with post doc experience as a regular AP with proper salary, startup and other resources and then evaluate the person after 5 years. That would be the correct way of improving quality and standard. Also it should be noted that if MHRD implements a tenure policy then resources available to APs should be drastically increased also. One cannot demand high quality without providing resources appropriately.
    In short tenure system is not a bad policy but a systemetic and rational way of implementing it is required.

    Saptarshi Basu
    Assistant Professor
    University of Central Florida

  11. Anonymous said...

    Director, IIT

    Please explain:

    1. How would you give initial research grant to an OCAP? I dont think GOI permits any grant to any employee on contract.

    2. If s/he will not be having any grant to do the research, how would you evaluate him/her after 3 years of probation?

    3. Even if GOI permits him/her to submit R&D projects, dont you think that one year is too little time to get the funds. Dont forget that first evaluation is due only after 1 year for uplifting an OPAC from AGP 6000 to 7000. All the GOI funding agencies review the research projects only twice or thrice a year.

    4. How would you ensure that an OPAC would not be given a class of 250-300 students just after joining? Due to increased intake for OBC and mentoring of new IITs, many B.Tech. courses have such a mammoth strength. Nobody in any department likes to teach these courses, so these are imposed on new faculty. Further, students are so aggressive towards the IIT system as they are not given proper hostel facility. Rooms meant for single occupancy, now converted into cells to house 3 students. How a young guy having no teaching experience would handle a class of 250 students when half of them are sleeping.

    5. What would be the criteria for converting an OPAC into regular AP. If it is not research, then would you take feedback from totally confused 18-20 years kids to make him/her permanent?

    6. Or would you leave an OPAC on the mercy of HOD and professorial committee for favourable feedback, so that they may use him/her to the fullest to settle scores against their rivals in the department.

  12. Gautam Barua, IITG said...

    1. Let me start off by saying that I (and most Directors to the best of my knowledge) would rather not have OCAP. I said so in my first post ("it is a bummer"). What I have been trying to put forward is if this is to stay, what can we do to reduce its ill effects ? It is not a question of towing the line of MHRD or something like that. I want to assure all the students doing PhD in India and abroad that, in spite of OCAP, you will get a good deal in IITG.
    2. The MHRD order does not mention anything about reviews while going from one grade pay to the next. IITG HAS ALREADY made offers to candidates telling them that they do not need to go through any more interviews or reviews to move to the regular position of AP with 30,000 and 8000. They simply have to complete 3 years of experience(part of which they may already have when they join. These offers were made last week, so no one has had the time to join as yet). Please believe me when I tell you this. IITs are not as bad as some make them out to be.
    3. Someone mentioned about getting research grants. There will be no problem for Institute's start up grants. We at IITG are already giving them to Sr. Lecturers. We will bring up this issue vis-a-vis other Govt agencies such as DST at the right forum. I am confident some method will be in place (eg guarantee by the Institute that the project will carry on even if the person leaves; we will of course try for waiver of the requirement of only regular employees being eligible).
    4. At IITG, class allotment is done democratically in a departmental meeting. The custom is to allow a newly joining faculty his / her choice in the first semester.
    5. This discussion is mixing up the issue of OCAP with apprehensions about unfair treatment in IIX. The two are mutually exclusive, although some may say that OCAP makes the unfairness worse. But there is not the kind of unfairness that some of the bloggers are talking about. Individual cases should not be generalised. The IIT system is open, fair, transparent, and wants bright young minds to come and take part in its programmes.
    Gautam Barua

  13. Anonymous said...

    As a mere outsider, I have been reading the large no. of comments came regarding OCAP and IITG issues. I just thought that perhaps I can have my opinions too (what else to do in a lazy Sunday morning!!).

    (1) It is really great that Nanopolitan is creating an excellent forum for discussion. Just think, people are expressing their views and then a computer savvy IIT director is responding. Thanks to Abi.

    (2) OCAP is not good but each IIT can take some steps to make it a bit better (what is which iitg seems to be doing).

    (3) regional etc. - I (like most of you) have no idea about the operation of iitg, iitm or iitkgp. So, have no clue who is right - some of the bloggers or the director.

    But I do have a general question - how many of our universities/institutes are truly national? Or, in a country like India (where we have so many languages, cultures, different political power in each region), do we at all expect our educational institutes to be 'national' at all?

    By 'national' I do not merely mean the percentage of faculty from each region but a place, which ensures equal growth of each faculty member irrespective of their mother tongues, where students come from all over India, the institutes heads are not chosen only from that region etc.

    Finally have a great Diwali !!

  14. Anonymous said...

    Dear Prof. Barua

    Your comment:
    "Individual cases should not be generalised. The IIT system is open, fair, transparent..."

    The cases I quoted, were only samples to show how open, fair and transparent IIT system is. Believe me, there is dozens of such cases in each IIT. If you are really interested, I can send you the entire list.

    Your comment:
    "This discussion is mixing up the issue of OCAP with apprehensions about unfair treatment in IIX. The two are mutually exclusive..."

    How can you say that the unfair treatment in IIX has nothing to do with OCAP? Take the case of Dr. Suresh Bhalla. If injustice could happen to him, it could happen to anyone. He was IITD own silver medalist. Look at his bio-data. If he was in some USA university, he would have given Professor post. But he was not even called in the interview for associate professor. It is another issue that in the same interview a guy having no publication and R&D projects not only called for interview but also promoted to associate level. Bhalla has filed several RTIs against this injustice and put forward his case to MHRD, but without any hearing.

    Your comment:
    "...and wants bright young minds to come and take part in its programmes."

    If you are so caring towards young minds, then why you guys at helm of affairs happily accepted the OCAP positions with ridiculously low salary? And if I am not wrong, you were the happiest person after meeting with the minister that finalised salary structure for IIX.

  15. Anonymous said...

    Dear Professor Barua,

    I (and some of my friends too) fully agree with the substance of most comments here. We were planning to come back, but those plans have been rolled back and are exploring other alternatives. Let me make it clear: It would seem it takes a certain amount of insanity(!) to join these temporary posts in India for 3 years - for a salary of 30000 p.m, then be at the mercy of the system (senior profs) for promotions! Sorry for being so blunt - I just don't understand why would senior academics like you even expect someone to join under these conditions; the only major attraction of IIT faculty post was its permanancy. If it is removed, I might as well work in industry! Even in India, this pays 4 to 5 times higher, not to mention the earnings abroad!


  16. Anonymous said...

    It's great to see an IIT director responding to comments/ criticism on a public forum -- that too a blog! I think this is an excellent attitude from Prof Barua which is a refreshing change from the arrogance of most IIX heads one has seen... keep it up Prof!

  17. Anonymous said...

    Despite all disagreements one may have with Prof. Barua, he needs to be congratulated for standing up and discussing things openly. Other IIX heads are hiding in their nests so that they dont offend MHRD for a possible nice position after their retirement.

    I am a former IITK student (and now a professor in US) who met Prof. Barua when he was a professor in CSE@IITK.

    P.S. OCAP is really crap deal. I agree with Saptarshi Basu @UCF that if they want introduce tenure policy then do in totality like in US. I am a big supporter of Tenure policy even though it has its own pitfalls.

  18. Anonymous said...

    Dear All,

    It is so refreshing to see the Director of a major IIT responding to detailed questions in this blog.
    Though we try to show the relative advantages of doing research in US compared to India we forget the facts that leaving in a foreign country can take a toll on you in terms of raising your family. The cultural shock/difference is gigantic ( it is still a shock to me after 6-7 years). So if your own country provides you with a suitable opportunity then people like me would be ready to return even by sacrificing the lifestyle in US. So I bet reasonable pay, good resources and opportunities will be enough to attract a lot of people to India.
    Comparison with Industry salary is largely irrelevant as a person enters academia not because of pay but for the passion of research and work independence. As a faculty you can do whatever research you are excited in without being narrowed down by any company policy. It is true that in US difference in salary between industry and University is not as vast as in India but then one has to realize that IIXs are government funded whereas in US the concept of federally funded Universities is non-existent. So I guess when you take government money it is not possible to increase salary locally only in the IIX context ignoring other sectors. Even in US State funded universities in the past two years violent budget cuts have induced furlough days, hire freezes, salary freezes.
    So being a Govt. institutes IIXs cannot do any better than current salaries which is certainly understandable. Even with this salary attracting talents will not be an issue if proper support and resources are offered. Many of us do want to come back to stay close to our family and serve our country.

    Saptarshi Basu, Ph.D
    Assistant Professor
    Department of Mechanical, Materials and Aerospace Engineering
    University of Central Florida
    Phone: 407-823-5221 ( )

  19. Anonymous said...

    It is indeed refreshing that Prof Barua should respond in the manner he has done.

    It also shows the perils of judging people based on second hand conversations - no matter how well intentioned the journalist might be.

  20. Anonymous said...

    Congratulations to Prof. Barua for having this open discussion on a blog with people who genuinely care about the IIX system. My respect for him has grown a lot over the last few days.

    I am however still very skeptic about the GOI policy on OCAPs. I think it is a lack of vision on Mr. Sibal's part to start this system and a lack of courage on IIT directors part to not oppose it. It is true that there is no one to represent people who haven't yet joined the system, and one ususally relies on the wisdom of "leaders" to have the necessary vision to comprehend what importance young faculty plays. Mr. Sibal has failed the nation miserably in this front.

    They should abolish OCAP. Let the institutes decide who to hire as Asst. Prof. and let everyone start at 30+8K and move to PB4 after three years. If you are hiring someone with 3+ years post PhD experience, hire them directly into PB4. It is not much of a pay increase and will not burn a hole in the treasury. I am sure that Mr. Sibal can forego one of his foreign trips to make up the difference.

  21. Anonymous said...

    "Take the case of Dr. Suresh Bhalla. If injustice could happen to him, it could happen to anyone. He was IITD own silver medalist. Look at his bio-data. If he was in some USA university, he would have given Professor post."

    Hehe. With 21 publications and 261 citations, you become a professor in USA? Not where I am (U of F). You may not even get tenured with that profile. Heck, I doubt he can become professor even in IISc. But then IISc has reasonable standards !

  22. Gautam Barua, IITG said...

    Some of you have succeeded in hitting a raw nerve in me :-). Directors are being seen as spineless in not opposing OCAP. What is the origin of OCAP? It seems to come out of IISc! Please consider the following:

    Appointment at the entry level on contract: How did this clause come up? This came up because it was a recommendation of the Goverdhan Mehta Committee. In fact. Prof. Mehta has been quoted by Business Standard in a recent interview as follows ( \this-is-no-way-academicians-should-express-their-angst \/368555/):

    Was there anything in the IIT wishlist which could not be accommodated?
    Yes. There was one point of disagreement. The IIT directors wanted fresh PhDs as assistant professors and we did not allow that. We wanted PhDs with some research experience in the industry so that they can launch themselves into research immediately. Experienced PhDs have a sufficient level of maturity and independently do research and that is when they imbibe the attributes of a mentor. This could be one reason why the IITs have established themselves as premier institutes for undergraduate studies but are not known for their research.

  23. Anonymous said...

    Dear Prof. Barua,

    I would greatly appreciate if you could respond to following

    1. Did IITs not oppose the OCAP clause at the time of Goverdhan Mehta Committee report being prepared or submission?

    2. Did IIT representative on Goverdhan Mehta Committee supported the idea or Prof. Mehta was de-facto one-man committee (it seems from his interview).

    3. And above all, why was as it so difficult for 7 or 8 IIT Directors to oppose OCAP which was included by Goverdhan Mehta Committee? There is no committee report considered as "Holy Report" by Indian Government.

    Also, I disagree with Prof. Mehta that people with experience (how they got magic number of 3 years) are better researchers. Experience may make better teachers but not necessarily researchers as some of the brightest ideas are with fresh PhDs. Those ideas often become stale with 3 years of post doc or some other experiences. "Research potenial" is more important that "research experience".

    Thank you and Congratulations again for being the only Director who is willing to discuss things openly.

  24. Anonymous said...

    I think you are right in saying that Mehta committee is a one man report. A member of this committee is in Jail. I wonder how much that guy has contributed. May be OCAP rule was suggested by
    K Narayan Rao before going to Jail :-)

  25. Gautam Barua, IITG said...

    1. Did IITs not oppose the OCAP clause at the time of Goverdhan Mehta Committee report being prepared or submission?

    In the quote I have given, Prof. Mehta himself is quoted as saying that IIT Directors did not want OCAP.

    2. Did IIT representative on Goverdhan Mehta Committee supported the idea or Prof. Mehta was de-facto one-man committee (it seems from his interview).

    How can anyone other than the comittee members answer this question? There was no IIT representative. All members were appointed by MHRD. This is how such committees are formed normally.

    3. And above all, why was as it so difficult for 7 or 8 IIT Directors to oppose OCAP which was included by Goverdhan Mehta Committee? There is no committee report considered as "Holy Report" by Indian Government.

    The Directors had voiced their concern to the Minister during the meeting with him. Once a Committee makes a recommendation, it is very difficult for Govt. to agree to a change requested by the beneficiaries (if you include the Directors as part of the beneficiaries; many would not agree!)

    I too disagree with Prof. Mehta's viewpoint. It seems a lot of others do too! But at the same time, we must respect the viewpoints of others and take the consequences of such views in our stride. There is little point in blind criticism at this stage. We must sit back and try to understand why there are these differing viewpoints. Are perceptions different? Are goals different? Are experiences different?

  26. Anonymous said...

    Thank you Prof. Barua.

    It does not make any sense to have a committee to decide on future of IITs, without having any IIT representative in it.

    It is only time (few years) which will prove that OCAP is going to be a disaster for IIT system in recruiting excellent young brains. I guess people may change their perception after this experiment will fail.

    I am a professor in US and have nothing to do with this. But some of my very good PhD students/Post Docs want to apply to IIT system and are totally discouraged with OCAP.

    Why not hire new Asst. Prof on 5 year contract (like US tenure policy) but with "SAME" salary and "reasonably good start-up grant"? I am sure everyone knows that 5-10 lakhs start-up given by IITs cant buy a small piece of equipment for most of the experimental work. After 5 years, these assistant professors should be evaluated for making it a permanent position + promotion to Asso. Professor.

    Thank you again for having a very constructive conversation.

  27. Anonymous said...

    Thanks Prof. Barua,

    My only concern is that by the time decision makers in india realize the killer blow of this OCAP system, India will loose many..
    In this current economic situation, there are lesser amount of job in USA and getting faculty position in USA getting there are many who are thinking to go back to india as IIX prof. Because of this OCAP system, people will now prefer to stay in USA as post-doc and wait for 1-2 years more to get this recession over. Because it does not make any sense to join OCAP in IIX. they will invest those 3 yrs (to become permanent as AP in IIX) here in USA indeed. Bottomline, India will loose this opportunity to draw the talent-pool which is the best indeed. Just imagine, if these best PHDs can wait for one more year they will get the job in US top 20 univ. However if India can draw these talent pool chances of getting better faculty than they did in last several yrs are much higher.
    So its all about taking our nation's research potential to the next level.
    Otherwise, it doesn't matter if there is OCAP system or even you can pay lesser than what you r giving, IIX will always get the application and subsequently will offer the appointment to some of our 1 Billion Indian citizens.
    Because we are habituated with the kind of talents we get. We cant dream of a 'Venky' to do research in IIX. Yrs after yrs we will send our 'Venky's abroad and sit back and clap on his Nobel success. Gr8!! what can we do..after all ours is an independent democratic country.

  28. Anonymous said...

    @Prof.Barua and others:
    I am an (OLD)IIX AP recently started. The concerns regarding overloading are absolutely true. The senior profs are ABSOLUTE IDIOTS. I have no regrets in saying this. They are mostly home grown and have no idea what goes on outside IIT campus (literally).

    I am a permanent hire at IIX and still got a raw deal. The course load, administrative work, other junk was assigned to me without even asking me once.

    It seems they will evaluate me for associate prof. only if I have a PhD student graduated. Now this is an internal rule.

    Look at this situation guys,
    1. You get a job on at IIX for 38K+ bit more.
    2. You are assigned large and multiple classes.
    3. You are assigned administrative work.
    4. You are assigned administrative and academic work related to new IITs.
    5. You are assigned really crappy students (leftovers from seniors).
    6. You are given peanuts(5-10lakhs) to do research.
    7. They give you no space to setup lab.
    8. Then they expect you to produce international quality research.

    I wrote to my advisor in US about the situation in India. He replies me saying that "ask whatever they have promised in the offer letter". His impression here being that you are offered some start up, lab space, students, travel money. None of these are even remotely mentioned in the offer letter. All it says is they offer you a position at this basic scale.

    I came here hoping to do something from a top 5 engineering school in US. I am very disappointed with the system. Those who say, it works have either connections or got lucky in their lives (also may be they don't do good work).

    A senior prof (6 year old) told me to keep heads down and work. That is the only way you can deal with life in IIX campus. The more you think about what it would have been in an ideal situation, the more you get depressed about your life in IIX.

    thanks and good luck to you all who are looking for jobs in India.

  29. Anonymous said...

    WOW!! Thats pretty bad!! If that is the reality then I must give a second thought before i take up the job. You (Anno 12:28 am) are right.. in my offer letter i dont see anything about the labspace, students or start-up fund.
    They just gave me verbal assurance that it will not be a problem. I got an offer from India's top 3 IIX. They gave me the example of providing big startup funds for someone in the insti who needed that. Although that became the central facility. But the confusion arises will they keep up their promise?
    Now i am really confused!! What do you suggest guys..esp i would like to ask someone like Abi, IITsriram who are already in IIX.
    I am also concerned about the lab-space because i am experimentalist and my equipment will need definitely a big floor probably..
    @Abi and IITsriram, could you please answer my question. Can you suggest me something to do so that i should not face the space-crunch or funding prob.

  30. Anonymous said...

    "It seems they will evaluate me for associate prof. only if I have a PhD student graduated. Now this is an internal rule."

    "A senior prof (6 year old) told me to keep heads down and work. That is the only way you can deal with life in IIX campus."

    Yes, it is very true. Forget about experimental set-up as there is no space available for it, you can buy only laptop, desktop and printer from your start-up grant. To get a research scholar is not easy. The interview for Ph.D. admission is a big secret in IITs. If anyhow you reach there and try to have a R/S, seniors will never allow you to select a R/S under your supervision saying that no candidate is from your field, etc. Fortunately, if you get a guy exactly from your field, they will tell you various rules that you cant guide your first Ph.D., individually. By the time you make a Professor your mentor, so that you can guide a Ph.D. with him, 3 years are over. Now when you think of associate level, this strange rule of 1/2 Ph.D. guidance comes in picture. The senior professor with whom you get associated will never help you in guiding that student. However, he will make sure that in all the papers, his name should be there. Further, he will try to be a Co-PI in your R&D project by terrorising you or your R/S. Submitting a R&D proposal and tracking its status is altogether a full time job. Life of an AP is really hell in IITs. From teaching large classes to guide a Ph.D. and submit R&D project, one has to go through most horrible moments of his life. This is most disgraceful job in India. Even, a bank clirk have better and respectful life.

  31. Anonymous said...

    Well exploitation of junior faculty who are the most vulnerable in any univ is nothing new.. It happens in USA too. my uncle & aunt are prof in an engineering dept of a very good univ in USA and i heard lot of stories from them too. May be its in more extended manner in IIX. But one should learn how to come out of it and do his/her own research. But what bothers me most if they dont give you lab-space to set up you lab. That will be horrible. Regarding students, well in USA also AP struggles to get good quality students. Good sources for stdnt are from India, China in the initial years for AP (EXCEPT top 5 univ in usa)..I have seen closely how an AP struggles to even interact with dishonest chinese stdnt who cant even speak good english. So it is obvious that at the starting point you cannot expect much contribution from stdnts.
    Having said that, if you cant even get the lab-space or a single student in the first 3 yrs, then its horrible nightmare.
    Its really scary. I would like to ask current profs like Abi or IITsriram to shed some light upon this to give the actual situation.
    Please for gods sake dont paint any hypothetical pics.

  32. Anonymous said...

    I would like to share my experience related to R&D projects. I submitted 2 projects on my research work to different funding agencies, one computational and other experimental. I got very encouraging reviews after 4-5 months, both asking for experimental and computational work together. I replied giving the reason that I have submitted to the other funding agency. Both of my projects were rejected saying that the proposals were not complete. Then I combined these 2 projects and sent it to DST. Last week, 2 months after submission I called for knowing the status. DST clirk told me that they have not received any such project and asked me to call again after 2 weeks.

  33. Anonymous said...

    This is getting a bit out of hand. Ranting against OCAP is understandable; it made the previously existing starting AP post look so bad. But please dont et into "how easy it is to function optimally in US as opposed to India" discussions. There is a reason for which India is labelled a 3rd world country, and no amount of ranting on the internet will change that. If you feel the need to make such comparisons, it is definitely not advisable for you to take a position in the IIXs; for you will see that these institutes are not a patch on the universities of west in terms of infrastructure.

    For those bent upon returning from the west, be advised that you are coming into a 3rd world country, be prepared to function accordingly.

    In India, more than anywhere else, connections work. The sooner a new faculty learns it and establishes a network, the easier it will become for him/her to excel in this country. The need for networking is there everywhere; its just that it becomes even more critical in India. In addition, having spent a few years in US, you would probably have some networks + blessings of your supervisor there, which you wouldnt have in India. (Similarly, a PhD from IIX would have a better network in India, and might be better placed in this aspect). So, yes, if you are a PhD from US, you WILL be dis-advantaged in that you would probably have to start your netwrok from scratch.

    Is that an ideal scenario to attract the best talent? Of course not. The administrators (in IIXs, universities and the government) have much to do. But honestly, if someone is looking to return, this little bit is really the key - "Build network; align yourself with the power axis, at least till you establish yourself". That, plus the hard work, which is needed in every country to succeed academically. Like it or lump it, that's how it works here. If that deters you, dont come back. Not a good advertisement, but honestly that's the ground reality.

  34. Anonymous said...

    Dear Prof. Barua,
    I would like to ask you about the situation of those who are MOST likely to be worried about this new OCAP position.

    1) Those who have been offered regular assistant professorship before the new notification was announced and are yet to join(with less than 3ys exp).

    2) Those who attended interviews before the new notification was announced and are selected (with less than 3yr exp).

    3) Those who do not have 3 yrs out-of phd experience and joined as regular APs before the new notification came up.

    My question is not about the pay, but the contract position. Are these people going to be offered contract positions now? Lumping the new position and new pay does not seem to be the right thing ethically. They joined/attended the interview on the condition that the position is regular AP. All of them knew that the pay will rise after the SPC, but none expected notification regarding this new position.

    Is there any policy worked out by IIT directors to deal fairly with these issues?

    Thank you.

  35. Anonymous said...


    I would setup a mobile lab if IIX does not provide me lab space :D

  36. Anonymous said...

    Somebody sitting in USA was laughing at me anonymously, when I posted about Dr. Bhalla:

    "Hehe. With 21 publications and 261 citations, you become a professor in USA? Not where I am (U of F). You may not even get tenured with that profile. Heck, I doubt he can become professor even in IISc. But then IISc has reasonable standards!"

    Let me tell you, Dr. Bhalla had guided 1 Ph.D. at the time of interview. Even then, he was not called for interview. Although, there is several assistant professors (in service upto 20 years), who were not called for interview due to no Ph.D. guidance.

    Mr. U of F, I can give you link of several Professors' profile (from USA and IISC Banglore) available on net, who have less than 262 citations. You will not believe that in IITs, several professors dont have even single paper in international journals. And most of them dont know definition of IF and citations.

    I think you wanna impress "somebody around" by showing your faithfulness. Buddy, you need not to do so. Dont underestimate yourself.

  37. iitmsriram said...

    I post here without being asked to and now we have some folks actually asking for me to post? OK, you asked for it, so expect a long one!

    Of course, the offer letter cannot make any promises about lab space, number of students etc since these are not institutional level issues but matters to be handled at the department level. I have had my share of offers from US univs (of course, the last time I had an offer was about five years ago) and not one of my offer letters makes any committment about how many sq. ft. of lab space or how many grad students I will get. I can understand folks having apprehensions about this, but those are just apprehensions which need some reassurance from this side, I think. And, as I see it, the apprehensions are natural, mostly coming from the radical shift in the work place from US to India. Hiring a faculty member is a significant and long term investment for any department and most HoD's will be reasonable and try to protect the investment so it becomes productive - and this means offering support in terms of course load, work space and grad students. There are a handful of otherwise nice people who do not provide enough support and I believe they should be viewed as exceptions. Anyway, since IIXs appoint HoDs by rotation, the problems will pass. Yes, my department too has a 'requirement' of graduating a PhD to become an associate prof, but that is just a norm that indicates the expected level of the record of achivement; any shortfall in any one expectations can be overcome by exceeding the expectation in some other parameter. I have not graduated a single PhD to date - and I not only became associate prof, but became prof and even HoD. About startup funding, I can talk only about IITM. And, I have first hand information, as I serve on the deans committee that reviews and recommends startup funding. We meet approximately once a month and the last time we met, we approved one startup grant of 20 lakhs. The default is 5 lakhs but proposals are handled on a case by case basis. Of course, we (the committee, the dean, the director) would like to give out more startup funding, but there is the constraint of overall funds available; as a context, the monthly salary bill in IIX is a couple of crores. Also, external funding (from government agencies) in India is much easier to get than in the US. Last time I checked, the hit rate in the US was, maybe, 15%. For IIX faculty, the hit rate is usually higher than 50%. Once you establish yourself (say, 5 years) and show that you can deliver, the hit rate will quickly hover around 90%. You will only be inhibited by your ability to find sufficient number of capable students to work on these projects. But the key is to show that you can deliver (unless you are at IISc :-) could not resist that one). If you expect that since you have a degree from a great US univ and you have wonderful ideas, the departments should clear out 2000 sq.ft. of lab space and someone should give you a crore, that is not going to happen. Already there is an undercurrent with local PhDs feeling they are treated unfairly wrt those phoren degree holders. Things will mostly depend on if one delivers on the potential that is shown in the resume.

  38. Anonymous said... said...

    Last few days I find this blog gradually become interesting, specially the way the Prof. Gautam Barua tried to keep his images upright. I could not keep myself away from posting my views in respect of the comment of Prof. Barua……. “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 fair and transparent selections, I am proud to say.”
    At IIT Guwahati, I have doubt whether the faculties are selected or elected. In the election process it is usual phenomena to have thesis supervisor of some of the appearing candidates (Prof. Gautam Barua, Please see the file of Chemical Engineering Department from 2006-2008) as member of panel. Once again, Prof. Barua will probably blame to either to the then HOD or show the rule that during the interview the supervisor was kept away from the room. Is this happening repeatedly due to shortage of potential panel members in India or anything else there in the mind of director or HOD (especially when HOD itself was the candidate for promotion!!!)?
    In the same department there is a faculty member having 2nd class in qualifying degree. Still the candidate was selected in absentia. The Honorable HRD minister Kapil Sibal giving lot of stress to improve the standard of IIT and fixed up the criteria of first class throughout the career for selection of faculty at IIT level.
    Another instance I would like to show for recruitment of faculty at IIT Patna where Prof. Barua was the mentor Director. Anyone can see from the website of IIT Patna that about 25% of the faculty was selected from single most institutes (IIT Guwahati and IIT Kharagpur) (Note that IIT Guwahi is relatively new). Still will you say that your selection procedure is fair?
    Finally, if this is the way of leading an institute for which you are feeling proud, then in my opinion there are thousand and thousand of candidate available in India who can engineer the institute much better and fair way.

  39. Anonymous said...

    anonymous at 9.41 AM,

    Thanks buddy for speaking up. The people who are (were) associated with that IIT, all know how things work there. People just don't speak up (either scared or don't care). I can also give tons of examples in promotion irregularities within IITG - but that will not help anyone. I just would like to request Prof. Barua - please have the minimum level of honesty, integrity and look at the mirror once to see your conscious before writing "fair and transparent ... proud...".

    I apologise to fellow bloggers for writing this (yes, I have to be anonymous). However, I have been feeling so bad for last few days - many of the bloggers are potential iit candidates - they have no idea how system works here and a cunning director is misguiding them by giving wrong information.

    p.s. one of fist cs faculty members recruited at iit patna was a staff at the comp. cent. at iitg. However, he was also doing ph.d. there. Guess with whom?

  40. Anonymous said...

    I don't think Prof. Barua should be held responsible for bias in recruitment. If more number of candidates who did phds from the mentoring IITs apply or more local people apply, those whom the selection committee chooses is likely to be in the same proportion.

    Let's stick to OCAP issue here.

  41. Anonymous said...

    One of the spokesperson at MHRD called IIT directors as "poachers" while giving the explanation for why the UGC/NITs got better designation and pay deal. He was so right looking at number of guys resigning UGC/NITs and joining IITs. Beware guys, one of those "poachers" are on prawl around this blog.

  42. SKJain said...

    There are two more points to think:
    1. Somebody who joined just few months back, before the announcement of MHRD notification, are offered Asst. Professor with less than or even zero experience. They will be placed at 30K+8K AGP, with one year probation. Now if one joins now, he will be place under contract for 3 years with 21K+6K AGP. so, they will feel demotivated for 03 years comparing to thier PEERS.
    2.Some body with 10 years of pre-PhD teaching/reasearc/industry experience, with even 10 increaments will be placed at 30K basic with those who joined before August 2009 MHRD notification. He/She will feel humiliated for 03 years and others will enjoy only by the virtue of joining before the notifications.

    this is really going to pull down the IIX system

  43. Anonymous said...

    The power of being anonymous, if used constructively, can solve problems. If it is not used constructively, creates problems.

  44. Anonymous said...


    Are you sure this is the case? Is this being followed uniformly at all IIXs?

  45. Anonymous said...


    I have 2+ years of post-phd experience. I could have joined immediately, before notification. But I stayed back because of my three month notice period. Am I going to be rewarded with a contract position for following a moral obligation? Is IIX just another govt. organization that doesn't care?

  46. SKJain said...

    Annon@10:47,10:55.. please ask the respective directors/registrar. let them first clarify and take decision

  47. Anonymous said...

    Anonymous said:"In the same department there is a faculty member having 2nd class in qualifying degree." What has rercord at qualifying degree got to do with research potential?

  48. Gautam Barua, IITG said...

    Yes, someone, say X, who joined in April 2009 as an AP with no experience will be placed in 30000+8000, and so will someone, say Y, who became AP in 1998 (although he will be so placed on 1/1/2006). Someone who is going to be appointed on 1/11/2009, say Z, with 2 years experience has to be on contract. That is what the order states,and we have to implement it. However we can view the result in more than one way.Instead of saying how unfair it is for X or Z, how about calling Y extremely lucky? Whenever there is a pay revision, there are problems like this (this is the third revision I am seeing and every time I have seen problems). Bunching is a major cause of heartburn. Those in the border areas get "lucky" (being lucky is a relative concept anyway).

  49. SKJain said...

    @Gautam Barua
    If the new payscale is effective from 1.1.2006, anybody who is joining after this should be treated as per the new pay rules.Just by virtue of joining few months back, one cannot be on 30K basic as regular and 1/11/2009 fellow will be on contract at 21K or so.An offer made to new appointees must have one clause that their pay will be as per 6th pay commision.He/she may be appointed as Asst. Professor, but the pay cannot be at par with person with min. 03 years exper. or with more than 10 years of exper.Offer letter may not have stated that your basic will be 30K. Now if you relax this 03 years, then Asst Prof with more than 03 years pre/post PhD will ask for Asst. Prof in PB4.I think their demands seems logical if somebody with zero exper. is getting 30K.

  50. Anonymous said...

    Dear Prof. Barua

    There is something wrong in your statement:
    "Yes, someone, say X, who joined in April 2009 as an AP with no experience will be placed in 30000+8000, and so will someone, say Y, who became AP in 1998 (although he will be so placed on 1/1/2006)."

    Do you mean to say that Y, who became AP in 1998 will get 30000+8000 as on 1/1/2006? I dont think so. Accoring to UGC fitment tables he must be placed in PB4 with minimum (37400+9000).

  51. SKjain said...

    Prof. Barua is correct in his statement. If Y is AP in 1998 in the scale of 12000-420-18,400 will get 8 increaments as on 1.1.2006 and due to bunching as per new MHRD notifications for IITs, Y will loose 8 increaments and will be placed at 30K. after 03 years he will be placed in PB-4, provided if Y is not promoted to Assoc. prof

  52. Anonymous said...

    @SK Jain

    But UGC/NIT assistant professors who have more than 3 years' experience as on 1.1.2006 will be placed in PB4 from that day itself. Do u mean to say that IIT assistant professor will get less than his/her UGC/NIT counterpart?

  53. Anonymous said...

    Barua an Jain,

    Do u guys mean to say that at 1.1.2009, all the assistant professors joined before 1.1.2006 will get same salary (i.e. basic of 37400 and AGP of 9000) irrespective of number of years they have put in.

    Because at 1.1.2006, guys loose 8 increments only. However, on 1.1.2009, as no assistant professor crosses basic of 37400, they will loose all the increments.

    On 1.1.2009, a 2005 guy will get the same salary to 1985 guy.

  54. Anonymous said...

    Thanks Prof. sriram for your reply.
    I am not too much concerned about the increments or promotion to the Asso prof. But not getting a single phd student graduated is not the good advertisement either. If i am not getting too much personal or if you have any problem in answering this, its fine, if you can please let us know what are the difficulties you have faced or why do you think your stdnt have not graduated yet. So is it the reason that it takes long time to set up your lab or quality of the students or administrative difficulties.

    It creates more confusions now. we are mentally prepared that it will take 2-3 yrs to get our lab ready etc. But even after 2-3 yrs if we (me and my would be phd stdnt) can not get a single publication or exciting result or better to say that if we are not in a situation to carry out our planned experiment even after 2-3 years because of the lack of lab-space or even lack of stdnt, then its going to be a nightmare. Because science is changing so fast now if i have to wait for 3 yrs to get any experiment done, i will be scratching my head to catch up the other ways it portraits that you cannot do cutting edge research in india..
    Personally i am inspired to by some young profs who joined IIX in the last 5 yrs doing very well and publishing good papers (means with good citations). But if those are the only exceptional cases or they have been just lucky to have good HOD/stdnt/vacant lab-space..then its very much discouraging..
    I wish thats not true..

    Anyways on another note, i just got to know from on of my friend who attended Pan-IIT in Chicago, that IIT profs got the message from the prospective faculty candidates that OCAP is a crap deal and nobody will join as AP until and unless they get the offer as permanent AP. So if IITs wants their own students (so-called reverse brain-drain) to return they know by now what they need to offer.


  55. Anonymous said...

    Just to say Sorry abi, i have probably hacked this thread..most of the questions or discussion are not related to the topic of this thread.

  56. Anonymous said...

    "I have not graduated a single PhD to date - and I not only became associate prof, but became prof and even HoD."

    I completely agree with Prasanth. "But not getting a single phd student graduated is not the good advertisement either." Your bold statement made me curious enough to go thro' your profile at IITM website. It further scares people to find out what actually is required in IITs to become a Professor! As an ex-IIT student,I must say that IIT system is certainly not proud of your such achievement! I believe that no other IIT has a person in Professor position (and also HOD) with such credentials.

    This is not to hurt any individual. The debate addresses much greater issue. I request prospective candidates not to take this part of iitmsriram's comment seriously. IITs are fairly competitive and achievements are recognized fair and square. Here and there some such things may happen (People who matter know for what reason) but please do not generalize it. It won't happen to other IITs or every individual. You please look at the profiles of people in Professor position at other IITs. Do your own bit of research and confirm a point.

    My own humble observation is that iit as a whole offers a great experience, - may not be the best in each individual part but no inferior when you take it as a whole.


  57. iitmsriram said...


    You write "It further scares people to find out what actually is required in IITs to become a Professor! As an ex-IIT student,I must say that IIT system is certainly not proud of your such achievement! I believe that no other IIT has a person in Professor position (and also HOD) with such credentials."

    I am not hurt, but insulted; you seem to believe that you can evaluate me and even pass professional judgement by looking ONLY at what is in the IITM website. Does it occur to you that the website may not have all the information? In which case, would a retraction be in order?

  58. Anonymous said...

    I find webpages of professors at prestigious institutes like MIT have not been updated for years.

  59. iitmsriram said...


    I mentioned about PhD production only to emphasize the point that the selection (promotion) committee looks at many factors and PhD production is just one parameter; we are getting lots of good applicants for PhD now for the last 5 years or so, but for a period of about 5-6 years before that, my entire department was admitting only 2-3 PhD scholars per year. Divide that by the number of faculty and you can see there will be a problem. Such a situation is unlikely to repeat because of the large number of colleges out there now and the resulting size of the viable candidate pool. Most of the young faculty who joined IIX in the last 5 years are doing well and THAT is the rule, not the exception. There is lot more funding out there and also lot more 'good' calibre PhD applicants.

  60. Anonymous said...


    Did it not occur to you that it would have been hard to find PhD students in Aerospace Engineering? Did it not occur to you that websites can be outdated?

    Based on this incident where you showed lack of judgement, shall I conclude that Purab (ex-IIT student) is a dumb person but assure all other prospective IIT students that Purab is an exception and not the norm?

  61. Anonymous said...

    I think the follow up comments from Prof. Sriram clears some of the air around the comment "I have not graduated ..." to which prospective faculty members like Prasanth objected to. At least, that is the gain in this part of the debate that is generating more heat than light.

    I have absolutely no issues if called dumb etc. as long as people stick to the point.

    On Prof. Sriram's comment : "I am not hurt, but insulted; you seem to believe that you can evaluate me and even pass professional judgement by looking ONLY at what is in the IITM website. Does it occur to you that the website may not have all the information? In which case, would a retraction be in order?"

    In that case, I would surely love to retract and be educated. I always like to believe that the IIT is the best. I offer my apology in advance. However, can I not wish people who speak for IITs in different forums specially to incumbent faculty members keep their IIT space in order/adequtely populated not to cause confusions, more so if heads the admin.,acad. body and has the executive power and cannot blame another person for that?


  62. Anonymous said...


    You make a very good point above. I have found the web-pages of faculty at various IIXs to be very outdated. I know that several of them are extremely busy, but it makes sense to keep updating from time to time to keep things updated, specially with regards to publications.

    That said, I agree with Prof. Sriram that finding PhD students can be a big challenge in certain departments, and I think he was just trying to make a point about what is needed to promote faculty.

    Prof. Sriram, your efforts to help prospective faculty through various posts is highly appreciated. Please keep them coming.


  63. Anonymous said...


    I have seen from IITH web page that most of the professors are from IITM. How come these professor are working at two places!!! both the web pages (IITM and IITH) are showing most the faculties as their permanent faculty (not visiting faculty). Do not say web page is not updated!! in fact IITH is daily updating their web page. I want to ask one question why most of the faculty member in IITH are from IITM. Is IITH recruiting only IITM professors? or there is some hidden reservation or some hidden regionalism?

  64. Anonymous said...

    I think till IITH recruits enough permanent faculty, IITM faculty will be teaching at IITH as well. They are probably not listed as visiting faculty because that has a slightly different meaning and they do not want to confuse people.

    When someone says 'web page' not updated, they typically mean that 'all the info on that web page is not up-to-date'...but some info may be up-to-date.

    Yeah IITH is updating its webpage frequently but they link to faculty web pages which are not updated frequently.

    BTW: One quick way (not a bullet proof) way of checking the last time a web page was updated is to go to the address bar and type javascript:alert(document.lastModified). There are several caveats though and are beyond the scope of this discussion.

  65. Anonymous said...

    @anon 2:46 AM

    You can check the email address of the faculty to know whether they work at iith or iitm.

  66. Anonymous said...

    @anon 4:06am

    But in fact they are misleading and confusing people by showing them (visiting faculty) as a regular faculties. I do not understand why they are not showing them as visiting faculties. As a matter of fact all these (regular faculties) were visiting faculties few days back and they have recently updated their faculty page and showing them as regular faculty!!!

  67. Anonymous said...

    @anon above

    IITH is new and being mentored by IITM. IITH is taking baby steps. Let's be considerate.

    The website seems to be undergoing frequent changes. Perhaps, they will again be listed as visiting faculty after a few days, when a good number of new faculty join.

  68. Anonymous said...

    Is this a child play ? One day you are showing some faculties as regular and after few days you will show them as visiting!!! @anon 7:50am, Do you know it an official web site of IITH and how you can play on an official web site.

  69. Anonymous said...

    Better write to them, explain how it can mislead people and request for correction. I am sure they will respond positively.

  70. iitmsriram said...

    Come on folks, lets not see too much into what a web page says. I am also listed as a faculty member at IITH; I teach classes there but hold no appointment or post there. This type of arrangement was all that was there last year. There is a spectrum of how this is working in the new IITs. IIT Rajastan and IIT Mandi are running out of IITK and IITR campuses. IITH has its own temporary campus in Hyderabad but is having its own faculty members (14, the website says) only this year. Some IITM faculty members are stationed full time in IITH, some spend half the week there, some go for one day a week, some go once a month, some make just one trip per semester. There is also a mix of how the salaries are drawn (100% IITH to 100% IITM with some drawing additional per-lecture payments). These details are worked out by the individual faculty members (isn't that what mentoring is about?) and I dont think it is possible or even reasonable to put this level of information on the web site. Besides, most 'visiting' faculty members are concerned with having the programs running and dont spend much time worrying about where the pay bill is drawn. In a year or two, things will settle down and IITH will have its own full complement of faculty members. Whats the big deal?

  71. Anonymous said...

    Hi iitmsriram,

    I am a fresh Phd. I dont want stay for any longer in the US to do a postdoc or something for personal reasons. What are my best options?

    Apply to an IIT for an OCAP
    or join a national lab like NCL or NPL under some fellowship program. I would like to see myself as a faculty in IISc down the line. I came know that IISc doesn't take fresh Phds. What do you think are my best options to go where I want to go since I am absolutely not interested in continuing in the west? Please give ur opinion. Thanks.

  72. 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:

  73. Anonymous said...

    IITG is the only IIT where one can become a Professor (without a PhD) and then do a PhD under a colleague who is an Associate Professor. This has happened in the Design department of IITG. In fact one of these Professors was so ashamed that he did not receive the degree at the convocation because he was on the dais along with other Professors as a part of the Senate. OCAP however requires that one be a PhD and then have three years experience before being a permanent Assistant Professor. Design department at IITG always recruits people without PhD. While in other departments you have to work your butt off, in the design department all you need is make a rickshaw or paint a picture to be a Professor. The worst part is while these people join after some degree in Painting/Rickshaw design; their counterparts in engineering and science are slogging it out to earn a PhD. By the time these people have completed their PhD in five years, the guys in Design is happily promoted to Professorship without a PhD and makes more than twice the money of the engineering/science PhD, who can at best hope to be an OCAP with three years of his life at the mercy of some HOD. Why this discrimination???

  74. Anonymous said...

    Thanks for sharing the experience. Let's write more to bring the actual facts to everyone.

  75. Anonymous said...

    Design is a typical department.Its case can't be compared with others.Not many Ph.Ds are available. As you have to run the department, you need to recruit people having good expertise in some areas of designs. Even in IIT-Delhi, a person with a simple M.Sc. degree was a Professor (now Emeritus).However it is a different issue that he subsequently got Bhatnagar Award.

  76. Anonymous said...

    I am really enjoying this blog which as a forum has brought forward many perspectives in the IIT system as a whole and its loopholes. In response to Anonymous@ Monday, October 19, 2009 12:33:00 PM comment:

    "Design is a typical department.Its case can't be compared with others.Not many Ph.Ds are available. As you have to run the department, you need to recruit people having good expertise in some areas of designs. Even in IIT-Delhi, a person with a simple M.Sc. degree was a Professor (now Emeritus).However it is a different issue that he subsequently got Bhatnagar Award."

    I have the following to say:
    Does it mean that one should run a department in IIT simply “for the sake of running it”? What is so typical or extraordinary of this department that sets it apart from the other Engineering/Science departments of IITs? Why is it not comparable to other departments? Remember there are several cases in IITKGP and IITB where faculty members (of course possessing PhD degrees) had to retire as Assistant Professors for not being able to satisfy the criteria of becoming Associate Professors and Professors (like having x number of publications and producing y number of PhDs etc) and who were otherwise very brilliant academically and excellent teachers. Since pay structure is uniform in all IITs, there should not be any non-uniformity in the yardsticks of getting promoted. If departments where one can become a professor without having a PhD and enjoy all the perks associated with the professorship and still such department's case cannot be compared with other departments, there is no point keeping their salary structure at par with other departments. Otherwise they should be dumped into the university system where one has to just bite his/her time to get time-bound promotions. As rightly pointed out by Anonymous@ Friday, October 16, 2009 10:54:00 PM, this is clearly a case of sheer discrepancy and discrimination. It is high time MHRD looks into issues like this.