Sibal agrees to meet IIT faculty on Friday

      Union Human Resource Minister Kapil Sibal has agreed to meet agitating faculty members of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) on Friday. Sibal's move comes in a bid to end the stand-off between the government and agitating IIT faculty. According to the HRD Ministry, the IIT faculty has been informed about the development, the ministry said. Reacting to Sibal's decision, All India IIT Faculty Federation president Prof M Thenmozhi said: "We are very happy that the minister is giving us time. We are looking forward to a positive response from the government to our demand." IIT faculty members are protesting against the difference in pay structure and new promotion policy. Earlier, the IIT faculty gave an ultimatum to the HRD Ministry for holding a joint meeting of ministry representatives and teachers before October 1 to resolve the issue. Sibal had disapproved the agitation by the teachers and said the ministry should not be given ultimatum for talks. On September 24 the IIT faculty had gone on fast opposing some of the provisions in the pay structure recommended by the sixth pay commission. The Sixth Pay Commission recommended for a 40 per cent cap on promotion of professors to senior grade and contractual appointment of Ph.D holders at the entry level. Sibal justified the contentious provisions saying such conditions were aimed at promoting excellence, and added that the Board of Governors of the IITs will continue to have powers to relax norms for exceptional cases.

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