Devyani row not over, govt lays out red carpet for foreign professors

Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade’s ordeal is not yet over, but the government has relaxed visa norms for recruiting foreign faculty members engaged by the IITs, National Institutes of Technology and central universities. According to an internal note, the ministry of home affairs (MHA) relaxed the income criteria for granting employment visa to foreign faculty engaged by IITs, central universities and centrally funded technical institutes (CFTIs) late last month.

With this, the institutes under the central government ambit can hire faculties from abroad with a salary of $14,000 per annum as per the revised norms. Earlier, visa was not allowed to those with a salary of less than USD 25,000 per annum. ‘We have already informed the IITs about the relaxation in norms,’ an HRD ministry official said.

According to the MHA note dated 29 November, the relaxation will be given initially for a period of two years. The time period of the relaxation will be restricted till 31 December, 2015 and the position will be reviewed taking into account the progress in the hiring of foreign faculty. However, withdrawal of the exemption after the mentioned period (31 December, 2015) will not affect the terms and conditions of the foreign faculty already recruited under the above policy. The note says this relaxation will be available only for those recruited as teaching faculty and not for exclusive research positions in strategic areas. Sanjay Bohidar of SRCC said, ‘This won’t bring quality as experienced professors will not want our offer.'
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