The Indian Institutes of Technology wanted to discuss pay-related concerns at Friday's much-awaited meeting of the IIT Council but the Human Resource Development Ministry instead wants to focus on reforms, including examination changes.
Asked by the HRD Ministry to propose items for Friday's agenda, the IITs had suggested two pay-related concerns which have however not been included in the agenda, top IIT sources revealed to HT.
HRD ministry sources were quick to clarify that they have not included the pay-related suggestions in the agenda only because the Council was an "inappropriate" forum to discuss these concerns "which are being looked into."
But sources in both the IITs and the ministry accepted that while there are no "fundamental problems," Friday's agenda represents divergences in views between them as much as it represents areas where views converge.
"There appears to be a difference in priorities. That comes through both in terms of what is in the agenda and what has been left out," a director said.
"For us, matters affecting our running of the Institutions -including pay-related matters are most important. The government may have a different perspective... perhaps a broader one."
The pay-related concerns included a recent pay setback to select top professors at the IITs and a proposal to hike the salary grade of professors, sources said.
The IIT Council, headed by HRD Minister Kapil Sibal is the highest decision making body of the premier engineering schools.
The ministry hopes to discuss its proposal to replace multiple college entrance tests with a single examination - a subject on which a panel of IIT directors did not agree with the government.