Sibal and IIT

While I have already expressed my views against IIT teachers’ resorting to strike, worst of all a hunger strike, for getting higher remuneration. I hate someone comparing the entry salary with those getting into the industry. Every industry or occupation has certain plus and minus points. An engineer going for R&D or production engineering or operation, never got the salary equal to those getting in marketing. Even in early sixty’s, the oil companies used to offer very high salaries, as is the case today with IT or financial sector. However, the salary must be respectable enough and certainly according to certain norms of performance. Naturally if Lovely Professional University pays more to its teachers, IITs will very soon get affected. Let a body of directors and some reputed alumni advise Mr. Sibal. The outright rejection of teachers’ demand will not usher well for the institutes of national importance. Moreover, Sibal must not expect the teachers to be dumb about their problems, if it is genuine.

I don’t agree with Sibal’s expecting IIT teachers to earn Nobel to get them higher pay or autonomy. And I dislike the way he has come on small screen and to media openly and talking the ill effects of this strike on the image of IITs. His statements were in bad taste and can certainly hurt the egos of some teachers, who are normally pretty sensitive. Why couldn’t he dialogue with the representatives of the teachers of IITs as well as the directors, who have failed to satisfy their faculty members, if they themselves have been sold out on the issues by the HRD minister?

According to report, Mr.Sibal has said, “I am ready to give them any autonomy they want.’’ Why can’t Sibal go through Narayana Murthy’s book and the cases of the working of IITs where he has recorded the interferences of the babus and how it has affected the institutes? Sibal would have been proactive and can get the autonomy of all the institutes of excellence guaranteed. As reported, even IIMs are also asking for the same. I have written about it and pitiable conditions at IITs many times. Why doesn’t Sibal talk with few of globally known IITs’ alumni and consider where the government has been wrong with IITs?

And this makes me doubt the intention of Mr. Sibal. Is Sibal trying to make IITs and IIMs global class institutes? Such issues, where the teachers have been forced to go for strike, would have been taken care of by the directors. If they have failed, either they are useless or they don’t have the autonomy.

Let the selection process and performance appraisal for the teachers be reviewed if it meets the present requirements and expectations of education at IIT. Teachers must inspire the students to get the best in them. Teachers must keep themselves in touch with the industry and the latest developments going on anywhere in their fields of expertise in the developed countries. They must research and publish their findings in world class journals and help the industry to innovate globally competitive products. How can good research work done by the teachers and their group get overlooked if it’s of worth. Let them not be content with the Ph.D that got him the job. They must go for path breaking researches. It may not be Nobel or patents only, but there are many other ways to get international recognitions, as the scientists of ISRO and CSRI are getting after many years.

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