New Delhi: Hundreds of teachers of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) went on a hunger strike on Thursday after the Government rejected their demand for a better pay package.
Head of the IIT faculty federation, M Thenmozi, said they were on hunger strike as announced on Monday.
She said the federation submitted a fresh memorandum to the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry on Tuesday but had not received any reply.
Over 1,300 teachers of the 14 institutes across the country are part of the protest.
Professors said while an increased pay structure is their key demand, the Ministry's 40 per cent cap on the promotion of professors to the next level is another contentious area.
They are also against the Ministry's proposal not to appoint fresh PhD holders as teachers in the IITs even though the institutions are facing a severe faculty crunch.
The Ministry said that unless a candidate with a PhD has three years of teaching experience, he or she cannot be on the permanent rolls. But faculty members point out that this is not applicable to the university system but still applied to the IITs.
"There should not be any cap on excellence whether in appointment of fresh teachers or promotion of professors to a senior level," an agitating IIT Delhi faculty member said.
HRD Minister Kapil Sibal Tuesday disapproved of the teachers' protest plans. "The faculty behaviour doesn't meet IIT standards," he said.