Friday, September 10, 2010

IITs allowed to raised retirement age to 70

The ministry of HRD has allowed the IITs to raise the retirement age for faculty to 70, according to the Hindustan Times. The retirement age of IIT directors can also be raised to 70, which would allow several directors to stay on for a second term. This is a bad idea.

Letting IIT directors stay on for until 70 is bad not just for the reason mentioned in the report, namely , that it will render IIT directors vulnerable to outside pressures. We need younger people at the top, not older ones. And, believe me, there is plenty of talent in the IIT system and outside the country that can be tapped.

Ditto with faculty. Since extensions will, in effect, be at the discretion of the director, this will render faculty totally subservient to the director. It is also not good for faculty to hang around an IIT or IIM for too long- not good for them, not good for the institution. Even as it is, faculty stay on for 30-35 years. I shudder to think of having faculty around for, say, 45 years. Faculty must be extended beyond 65, if at all, provided they have not spent more than 25 years at the institution.

I sincerely hope this does not get extended to the IIMs. The IIMs, by and large, have followed the principle of a single term for the director although, regrettably, this healthy principle was not followed in the recent past in the case of the directors of IIM Calcutta and IIM Lucknow. There is very little accountability among IIT and IIM directors and allowing them to reign for 10 years risks causing serious damage.


Anonymous said...

I dont understand your argument, I would like good professors to stay as long as they want to. Even in US faculty never retire, they can stay on as emeritus.

T T Ram Mohan said...


It is incorrect to compare the US situation with ours. The system there is highly competitive and subject to market discipline. Professors may tenure but are under pressure, nevertheless, to remained productive and up to date - even a professor with tenure may find it difficult to continue otherwise. We do not have comparable discipline here, so one must expect faculty to lose their edge with the passage of time. I doubt that many will retain their edge in the sixties. As for directors, there is a bias towards youth in the US in the appointment of deans- the latest appointee at HBS is just 50. I can only feel sorry for an IIT or IIM with a director who is past 65.


Anonymous said...

although i do appreciate your concern, it would have been nice(-r) to have read an elaborate essay on exactly what it is that makes an aged person (and an extended appointee to the post of faculty/director) a less-than-suitable person.
i'm a student at an IIT, and do believe that an extended term by a person at the post of the director of an institute is less than optimum for an IIT. admittedly, my perspective is less than mature, and it'd be great to hear what you have to say :)

Anonymous said...

Ram Mohan, sir,

Some Directors are trying for a 3rd term. Upto 2nd is too old a story. U are lving in the era of log-tables and Valve circuits.

Anyway, being an IIM prof. why are you so interested in the IITs ??
I can only guess and wonder. Anything is possible in this world.
IIT- Engineer - non-management oriented (IITENM).

Anonymous said...

What really matters is core competence and experience.
It is really a great asset to have an experienced professor. As long as he is able to contribute 100%...don't see why he shouldn't continue.

M.T. Nair said...

I totally disagree with your argument: " It is also not good for faculty to hang around an IIT or IIM for too long- not good for them, not good for the institution"

It is always good for the institution (students and faculty colleagues) if a professor is with the institution as long as he/she is active in teaching (courses at all levels) and or research. I put "or" here because, one cannot expect constant research output in terms of publications after certain age, whereas teaching capability will not be affected by age unless he/she is in poor health.

Anonymous said...

I think it wouldn't make any difference in the unique Indian education system: 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75..., 90 (? why not)...would be all the same. The graduating young and kicking BTP monkey...also a good contender.

iitmsriram said...

I cant see where the cited article states that retirement age for IIT faculty is raised to 70. IITs have (for some years) a provision to re-employ retiring faculty for 5 years after the retirement of 65 (for 3 + 2 years). Re-employment is not the same as raising of retirement age.

Anonymous said...

What is it really that we are talking about ? Is it an extension in the date of suparannuation from 65 to 70 or is it an extension (in the form of re-employment) granted after superannuation ? If the latter, then there is nothing new about it. It has already been in existence at IITs for some time.

Anonymous said...

I wish PGIMER and AIIMS directors who are worthy of this should also be allowed to stay till 70 if they are really doing good services to the institute

Anonymous said...


I am an ex-IIT student(Masters). And I totally agree with what you say. I did my M-Tech from an IIT, where-in my department had 9 professors, of which 5 were above 60 (and consequentially still in 1970s mould).

Allowing people to remain causes the follwing problems (what I observed)
1. Inertia to move with times (Being an IIT-Prof is not sufficient to prove that you can be perpetually productive)
2. Tendency to take things as a fiefdom, and not wanting to let go control.
3. Croony-PhD-ism. Letting your own Ph-D students join in as faculty, hence an average proffessor will make things contagious-spread.
4. Not wanting to let-in good young profs(due to point 2), reults in all old profs retiring together and causes faculty crunch.

My guide (who was in mid-30s) left the IIT, because he felt he couldnt change things(and he wanted to)

I do not intend to be dis-respectful to IIT-Profs but I want to be objective. I think I could have been more productive at my masters with a younger faculty.

Having said that my views pertain to a particular department of a particular IIT. Things could be same/different elsewhere

And it is for similar reasons why we would prefer young people in the parliament.

Peace and Regards :)

Santosh Sali said...

Yes , you hit a wall ,
Conditions in US & India are totally different, For IIM , where tier-1 or A-grade poublications are not mandatory for tenure or continuity of work, Professors are really not upto the edge !

& Some are not even aware , what new is happening in their area of work.

iLEAD said...

I think this is a really good move. Thanks a lot for sharing all these details.
If you are looking for World Class Learning and Training, then trust iLEAD to deliver the best.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to TTR for bring out an important issue. One point you have not written is that regionalism in national institutes like IIT or IIM.

I have no experience with IIM, but
being a faculty of one IIT at a remote part of India, I have seen shameless regionalism in a national institute. The director is from that region and yes, he got the second term and may get another term. Luckily I could escape from that place, but I find it shocking that how pubic money is used to destroy an institute.

Anonymous said...

Well u r so right.... In India there is a big tendency from 70+ faculty to try to hang around as long as possible. This would be right thing to do if they just want to do the research and spread the knowledge. However, most often they do not want to teach, as that will show them as equal to others. They would have lion share of resources with no duties.

グリー said...


VS said...

The move is welcome...Who does not want a good learned faculty to stay long in a institute...Each IIT is governed by its respective Board of Governors i.e. BoG...Why we should think that they will be taking silly decisions without proper consideration ? If any faculty is just hanging in the institute without much to contribute, then certainly his tenure would not be extended...but what about those who really have those skills and ability which is required in the technical domain and it is a well known fact that getting a good new faculty (with all the stringent requirements of post PhD experience and publications etc.) is not a piece of cake
~ VS

Sqn.Ldr.(Dr.) J.P. Singh said...

There is acute shortage of adequately qualified persons in academics.In case we retire them and have no replacement, will shall be moving in the direction of further aggrevating the situation. It is prudent that we should retain those qualified persons till such time, we make their replacement available.

MBA Institutes said...

It is really an excellent resource to have an knowledgeable lecturer. Provided that he is able to play a role 100% don't see why he shouldn't proceed.

Anonymous said...

The fee for different therapists can depend on the total duration of their therapy plan.
Some schools even require gaining experience first
as a prerequisite in your application to the university.
Complete rehab solutions provide services for these type people.
Here is my web-site ... postpartum depression websites

Anonymous said...

Hello there,
I am wondering if you would be interested in doing a
link swap? I see your blog: http://www.blogger.

com/comment.g?blogID=33693245&postID=8741951154682661326 and my blog are
based mostly around the same subject matter. I'd really like to swap links or possibly guest author a write-up for you. Thanks for your time.

my web page; Offshore Online

Anonymous said...

Acute shortage acute shortage acute shortage,,,What acute shortage,,I make more money at 35 than most of those IIT professors in their 60 plus age and Yes, I am not an IT engineer. I am also a science PhD with some postdoctoral experience. I never wanted to waste my expertise just by joining some institutes which do not do any quality research. Look at IITs and the quality of work going on there. no scientific collaboration and too much politics. One institute I applied for job , the director made fun with me by telling so came back to have a rest in India. What the hell is that,...What kind of mentality..?? Indian education is more business less quality..Sad but true