IIT professors earn Rs. 50,000 while Harvard professors earn Rs. 5 lakh. So IIT professors have been demanding pay hike and went on one-day token strike.
Hmmm..I like that idea. Let us compare ourselves with leading US universities. But why stop at the Professor’s salary? Let’s offer good fellowships to grad students so that we can retain some good students for the research. After all, aren’t they the ones who do most of the research work which gets turned into research papers? And in their own words:
They point out that abroad, each time a researcher publishes a paper, he is paid for it separately.
And this incentive, say the professors, will be seen in future research work in the country. Already, the attrition rate in various IIT departments is worrying.
So doesn’t it make sense to give the grad students some kind of fellowship? May be then we can convince some IIT graduates to pursue their PhDs in those “globally acclaimed IITs” (note how both the professors mentioned in the article did their PhD in US), though I am still doubtful.
As far as I am concerned, I would pursue my Ph.D. in India (of course hypothetically speaking. I have no intention of going through this hell again. EVER) if they get rid of some of the office politics (actually I will prefer all but I am being reasonable). While at it, they can change their examination method to understanding-based instead of memory-based, just like MIT and Harvard. And then they can attempt some collaboration with R&D labs of major companies and get some real problems to work on instead of purely academic, again just like MIT and Harvard. And above all, they can stop using their grad students as their personal servants (an average PhD scholar in our dearest “globally renowned IITs” is expected to get groceries, vegetable, milk for the professor’s household on daily basis). Then may be students like us will consider getting a Ph.D. in India and the quality of research might improve. Giving a raise to Professors ain’t gonna do it.
While I am at it, let me clear a few more things. The main reason IITs are so well known is due to the bright students graduating from there and not because of the quality of research done there. And the reason the students are so bright is due to the immense competition in India (Of the 384,977 candidates who appeared in the examination conducted on April 12, 2009, 10,035 candidates have been declared qualified to seek admission in IITs: from Wikipedia). The only way to succeed in India is to be the best. It makes Indian teenager very hard working and goal-oriented as opposed to an average US teenager. The pressure from the parents, family and society adds on to that goal orientation and hard work. BTW, did you know that India has the highest teen suicide rates in the world (read this and this)? But I digress.
The point of the post: let’s give the credit where it belongs. Give better fellowship to the poor Indian grad student and stop treating them like servants. May be it will attract better students to pursue Ph.D. in IIT and hence, improve the research quality.
P.S.: I didn’t even consider the ridiculousness of comparing Indian and US salaries without considering the cost of living in the countries. You need to deflate/ inflate one of them by respective cost of living! Being an IIT professor and all that, this should have been obvious to them.