To attract the best brains to higher education in India, the University Grants Commission, the regulator, proposes to allow lateral entry into college faculties, at higher salaries. A university or a college will be allowed to hire someone at a senior position straight away without coming up — as the present rule mandates — through the preceding ranks of Lecturer and Reader.
These inductees can be professionals from the corporate world or senior academics from foreign universities. They will be paid 15 or 20 per cent more than others of the same rank.
This is just a plan at the moment. UGC chairperson SK Thorat said it will be launched only after it is cleared at a commission meeting on August 3.
Welcoming the move, Deepak Pental, Vice-Chancellor of Delhi University, said, “Its success will depend on enough resources provided for inducting them.”
The idea has been inspired by a Brain Gain scheme launched by China in 2006, under which over 3,000 Chinese-origin academicians, professionals and corporate executives returned home to teach.
There are precedents even here. Some state and Deemed Universities have been hiring abroad to strengthen their faculties, at salaries most college teachers can only dream about.
Thorat has no plans of matching these salaries. The maximum on offer is Rs 9.60 lakh a year with a one-time contingency fund of Rs 1 lakh. And this is for the senior-most level — scholars-in-residence.
The commission plans to create 1218 such positions in its universities. It is setting aside Rs 75 crore a year for this scheme, for now.