Stand & deliver

The lowdown

University teachers not only work in tertiary-level and research institutions, but also contribute their expertise to many national and international missions. Professors have been/are Union ministers and advisors to prime ministers/ministries. In addition to universities/colleges, private coaching institutes, private education-content companies/web portals, and think tanks, some can be consultants to big companies and international bodies. University teachers get the opportunity to mould opinions, to shape young lives and also constantly learn and grow. It’s not about just about reading a book or two in class. A good has to be ready for all kinds of questions that the students might choose to ask. You should have the ability to come down to the level of the weakest students and make learning fun for them.

9am: Check emails, make arrangements for taking class
9.30am to 11.30am or 11.30am to 1.30pm: Take classes
1.30pm: Lunch
2pm: Attend faculty meetings, attend to administrative work
6.30pm: Return home
9.30pm: Study for research work

The payoff
Assistant professor — Pay band of Rs. 15,600 to Rs. 39,100 with academic grade pay (AGP) of Rs. 6,000. Associate professor — Pay band of Rs. 37,400 to Rs. 67,000 with AGP of Rs. 9,000.  Professor — Pay band of Rs. 15,600 to Rs. 39,100, AGP of Rs. 10,000

* Intellectual vitality
* High levels of self-motivation, especially to focus on research 
* A genuine interest and dedication in your discipline
* Be innovative
* Analytical skills
* Ability to reason and hold an argument on a topic 
* Strong verbal and written communication skills

Getting there
The University Grants Commission (UGC) conducts the national eligibility test (NET) to determine eligibility for lectureship and for award of junior research fellowship in 77 subjects. The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research holds the NET for life, physical, chemical, mathematical and earth atmospheric ocean & planetary sciences, jointly with the UGC. Information on exemption, subject list and other details are on

Institutes and URLs
* University of Pune
* University of Calcutta
* University of Delhi
* Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

Pros and cons
* Plenty of leave and vacations; Caveat: Some professors work on holidays too
* No tension of meeting targets

Every day is a learning day. While doing research, teaching becomes a part of life, not just a duty. One should always be innovative -- Ajay Kumar, dean research and professor in department of mathematics, Delhi University


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