NEW DELHI: On Monday, the HRD Ministry was informed by the home ministry that it was proposing a Cabinet note to allow work visa to those who earn a minimum of $15,000 a year.
This means that hurdles which were faced in hiring foreign faculty on five-year contracts in government institutions like IITs and IIMs could be eradicated soon. Currently, only people earning a minimum of $25,000 a year get a work visa.
Due to this clause Indian higher educational institutions found it difficult to hire foreign teachers at the entry level of assistant professor. This clause regarding minimum salary was not limited to teaching but was applicable to all the jobs.
Despite getting reassured by the Home ministry regarding the roadblocks faced while hiring foreign teachers to some extent, the HRD ministry is still vexed. The HRD Ministry feels that the period of clearance should be cut down from nearly six months to two or even less. According to the recommendations of the home and foreign ministries, the clearance should be done by a board and this could take six months. However, sources from the HRD Ministry said this would not attract the best talent.
While meeting with officials of foreign and home ministries, the HRD ministry proposed that foreign applicants from countries that have been given most favoured nation (MFN) status should not go to the foreign ministry for political clearance. They should be allowed to apply to the home ministry directly for security clearance.
According to sources, one of the proposals of the HRD ministry was to do away with the procedure of going through clearances at the time of job application, and doing it instead at the time of granting work visa. "It could bring down the clearance time to eight weeks," a source revealed.