The Sixth Pay Commission was set up in October 2006 with Justice B.N.Srikrishna as the Chairman, and it is expected to submit its recommendations by March or April of 2008 (just about seven months from now). It has been asked to "examine the principles, the date of effect thereof that should govern the structure of pay, allowances and other facilities/benefits" that would govern the Central Government employees. When it finishes its work, a cascade of smaller pay commissions would be created for individual sectors (such as banking, higher education, etc) that are nominally autonomous but are 'owned' by the government. Another branch of this cascade would lead to the creation of pay commissions by individual state governments.
For example, when the Fifth Pay Commission submitted its recommendations in mid 1990s, the Universities Grants Commission (UGC) had a smaller one that looked into the pay structure of faculty (and other staff members) in universities and colleges. Similarly, a separate committee headed Dr. U.R. Rao (ex-Secretary at the Department of Space) recommended a new pay structure for the faculty in the so-called Institutions of National Importance (which include the IITs, IISc, IIMs, ...)
I don't know if UGC is breaking with tradition here, but I was certainly surprised to learn this morning that UGC has appointed a committee -- even before the Sixth Pay Commission has finished its work -- to "review the pay scales of teachers in universities and colleges." This committee is headed by Prof. G.K. Chadha, former vice-chancellor of JNU and currently member of the PM’s Economic Advisory Council. And its mandate is quite broad:
... [It] will review implementation of the previous decision of the government/UGC under scheme of revision of pay scales approved for university and college teachers, librarians, physical education personnel and other academic staff.
It will also evaluate extent to which earlier recommendations in relation to qualifications, service conditions and pay-scales have been implemented. ... [It] will also examine the present structure of emoluments and conditions of service ... and suggest revision in the structure, taking into account the minimum qualifications, career advancement opportunities and total packet of benefits available to them (such as superannuation benefits, medical, housing facilities, etc).
It will examine cases of anomalies in the pay structure or career advancement opportunities for academic staff after the last pay revision and suggest remedial measures.
The committee may initiate necessary studies and analysis in regard to the terms of reference, keeping in mind demands and requirements of universities and higher education institutions.
The other members of this committee are: Atul Sharma (former Vice Chancellor, Rajiv Gandhi University, Itanagar); G Padmanaban (former Director, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore); Sudeep Banerjee (Chancellor, National University for Educational Planning & Administration, New Delhi), and Manimala Das (Principal, Bathune College, Kolkata).
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With UGC getting all proactive on the faculty salaries front, there is going to be great pressure on the government to set up a similar committee for IITs, IIMs, and other such INIs.