Friday, September 25, 2009

It's all about money, honey!!

A very interesting event is on these days. Professors of India’s elite institutes IITs and IIMs are protesting in unique ways like day long fasting to protest what they are calling an injury to their autonomy of recruiting good teachers and pay scales. I think this is a farce. This is just a way to arm twist the HRD ministry to increase their salaries. I have nothing against the IITs, IIMs. In fact, I have had the opportunity to study in one of them. But, what make those institutes great are its students and not so much its faculty. If you gather together some of the best academic brains in the country in one place, you don’t really need excellent teachers to produce great results. In fact, excluding very few of the faculty most others are of very ordinary standard. But then again, that’s true of every university, college in the country. That is one of the main reasons why we have not seen any great research work come out of the IIT/IIM system. Whatever good comes out the institutes is courtesy the efforts of the students.

Their contention is that they are not hankering after money and that they should be differentiated from others of their ilk because they are a superior breed. It would be very easy to call their bluff. The HRD ministry should ask them publicly that they would be positively differentiated and their salary would be more than their peers in the university system by one rupee. If this hankering is not for money, the teachers should accept that and continue with their work. But, if, as everyone suspects, it is about money, then their lie will be caught!!

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