The senior faculty at the IITs is toying with suggestions to attract and retain quality faculty. With 54 per cent expansion in existing IITs coupled with six new IITs taking off from this year, the faculty crunch is perhaps the biggest challenge for the institutes.
IIT Bombay faculty affairs dean Devang Khakhar says the existing and new IITs would need about 3,000 faculty members in the next five years.
Firstly, like all the other US universities, IIT faculty could get an annual compensation payable for 10 months. The remaining two months could be utilised for research work and industry-sponsored projects.
Second suggestion is to treat the new IITs differently by outsourcing the construction work to the private builders.
Lastly, following University of California, a faculty house on campus could be bought by the faculty itself by taking a loan from the institute. The faculty can pay installments out of the HRA it receives. Eventually once the faculty retires, it can see the house to an asset management company (AMC).
These suggestions are pouring in at the backdrop of 49.5 per cent caste-based reservations in faculty these institutes were asked to implement by the government. Uncertainty and despondency regarding reservation looms large in the campuses. â€œOne must understand that the IIT faculty has not gone in for more remunerative options in the industry and has chosen to stay here because of the environment IIT provides.
We canâ€™t recreate the existing atmosphere,â€ says IIT Delhi computer science and engineering faculty M Balakrishnan. The ministry is yet to come out with a directive on whether or not reservations will be implemented after the directors voiced their concerns at the meeting of the standing committee of the IIT council on Friday.
This fear among the faculty is making them look at other options, which earlier were not even thought of. There is a huge demand for faculty in engineering in some emerging countries like Malaysia and Ethiopia, where compensation is approximately $3,000 a month.
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