Sunday, January 20, 2008

No funds to pay salaries to Staff working IITs

The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) are rated as the world’s third best in engineering education, but the directors of the seven elite institutions are currently trying to get the UNION HRD ministry to pay their electricity bills on time!

I I T Bombay has written to the HRD Ministry that they are not in a position to pay next month’s salaries to their staff members. All seven institue4s have complained that government allocations are not keeping pace with the rising costs attached to the day-to-day running of these premier institutions.

Since the inception of the first IITs in the 1950s, they have entirely relied on government patronage. The budgetary allocation in recent years was roughly Rs.50 crore. However, over the last decade, the IITs have had to tap an extensive network of alumni here and abroad to meet growing requirements. A large percentage of new initiatives are also being driven through industry partnerships.
The HRD Ministry, which allocates money to the IITs for recurring expenses on routine bills for electricity, water, laboratory material and salaries, has not increased the annual grants since 2002. Despite escalating costs and inflation, the ministry’s allocation has remained constant at Rs.7.04 crore since 2002. In the meantime, actual expenses under this head have risen by an additional Rs.13.15 crore in 2007.
(Source: The Times of India, dt. 18.107)