Private universities don’t see teachers as assets, pay poorly, says former IIT Delhi director

V Ramgopal Rao said the problem exists even in Institutions of Eminence, suggested using NIRF, NAAC to enforce minimum salaries.

Private universities don’t see teachers as assets, pay poorly, says former IIT Delhi director V Ramgopal Rao, Former IIT Delhi Director
Sheena Sachdeva | Jun 21, 2022 - 10:28 a.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: Private universities don’t pay their teachers enough, complained former Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi director, V Ramgopal Rao on social media on Monday. “Faculty salaries in private universities is an issue that needs to be addressed in India,” Rao wrote, “Vast campuses, fancy buildings and TV commercials don't make a great university. It's the faculty. Most of them aren't even paying 7th Pay Commission salaries, which is atrocious.”

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Rao came to this conclusion after conversations with PhD graduates from IIT Delhi and IIT Bombay who have been appointed in private universities but are constantly looking for jobs in government institutions, even lesser-known ones, because they pay full salary.

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He told Careers360: “Private universities can pay tens of crores on television commercials but still aren't paying the faculties the 6th pay commission salaries to their faculties. In government institutes we were paid sixth pay some 15 years ago. This also goes for private universities which have been recognised as Institutes of Eminence.”

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Use NIRF, NAAC

On social media, where he has tagged the University Grants Commission (UGC) chairman M Jagadesh Kumar, Rao suggested enforcing minimum salaries through the government’s ranking and rating systems – the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) and National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC).

“For the higher education sector in India to scale up…, we need good private universities. Without being able to attract good faculty, these institutions can never improve their quality. Faculty salaries are already low in India and this is bare minimum,” Rao further wrote pointing out that the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 has set a target of 50 percent gross enrolment ratio which is the percentage of youth in the college-going age-bracket that is actually enrolled in higher education.

Buildings, not faculty, as asset

Rao argued that private varsities don't lack money. “They surely have money which can be seen through the expenditure on beautifying the campuses, and other things. The idea is that they look at these buildings as capital assets but they are not looking at faculties as an asset and the mindset is that if someone leaves they can hire someone else. This attitude is incorrect. There are good faculty members but why would they continue if they are not respected, valued or paid properly. India has around 600-700 private universities, but except for three-four universities, I doubt if anyone is paying the seventh pay commission,” said Rao.


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