Sibal said in a press conference, "We are hoping that there will be Nobel laureates coming out of our IIT system. But Nobel laureates don't go on hunger strikes. There is a certain decorum expected from people of the calibre of these IITs."
This taunt at an open press conference didn't really go down well with the IIT faculty federation. After Sibal met their day-long strike for autonomy and changes in the Sixth Pay Commission with derision, the faculty responded in the form of a white paper which says:
- No one can possibly prepare roadmaps for winning Nobel Prizes, and more so higher technical institutions in developing countries
- The IIT system seems to be systematically downgraded by policy interventions by the last few Pay Commissions
- Pay should be domestically as opposed to globally competitive to attract and retain top quality faculty members at all levels
But this is not all. IIT Faculty Federation President, Professor M Thenmozhi, has also written to the Prime Minister complaining about the remarks of the HRD Minister.
The letter says that Sibal's comments could affect their international reputation. The PMO has not replied yet but the letter has already had an impact. Kapil Sibal has invited the faculty for talks with him in the capital on Friday.