1.1 The New Scenario and Need for Changes
1.2 Methodology for Generating Structures and Responses
2.1 Role and Impact of Consultancy
2.2 Scope of Consultancy
2.2.1 Time apportioned for consultancy
2.2,2 Types of consultancy activities
2.3 Role and Contribution of the Individual and the Institution
2.4 Support for Professional Development
3.1 Growth of Consultancy
3.2 Making Consultancy More attractive and
Increasing the Institutional Share of the Revenue
3.3 The Library Component
4.1 Changes in Proposal Format
4.2 Team or Group Efforts
4.3 Supporting Staff
4.4 Testing. Evaluation and Standardisation
4.5 Technology. Transfer Fees / Royalties
REVIEW OF CONSULTATIVE PRACTICE RULES AND NORMS
Consultancy practice has been recognized as an important activity from. The very early years. In order to provide a structure within which consultancy services could be offered to Clients and Industries, the Board of Governors approved the first set of consultancy rules in 1964. This was followed by a comprehensive review and a revised set of rules based on a report submitted by a committee under the convenorship of Prof. S.C. Bhattacharya. The exhaustive report submitted by this committee still forms the backbone of the Institute's consultancy practice rules, Subsequently, there have been several reviews and modifications - based on working experience and newer situations emerging -but practically all the review committees recommended minor modifications. Annexure I provide a list of various Board Resolutions leading to structuring/restructuring consultancy rules in order to make them adaptable to changing situations.
Changes in consultancy rules approved by the Board of Governors in November 1993 perhaps represented a watershed. Some of the major changes comprised:
(i) relaxation of the ceilings on earnings in the form of consultancy fees, with progressively higher shares going to the Institute. .'"
(ii) provisions for International travel, and use of external consultants' services (to a limited extent).
(iii) provision of an Equipment Maintenance and Depreciation component in costing of jobs involving intensive; utilization of equipment.
These changes represented the system's response to the rapidly changing scenario arising from the following factors:
(a) the faculty expertise in contemporary areas had begun to attract not only assignments from clients abroad but also high premia in very specialized and emerging areas. even in the local environment.
(b) often industries and other clients required comprehensive and innovative solutions.
(c) provisions were required to enable faculty’s participation and visibility in International scientific and professional forums. and
(d) equipment and laboratories which had borne the brunt of substantial workloads through Consultancy work, needed up gradation and modernization.
The situation towards the end of 1993 was rather fluid -liberalization and major' changes in the economic, commerce and industrial policies had been initiated. and a substantial revision in the funding patterns for the IITs were being discussed. It was perhaps in the light of these factors that the Board of Governors while approving the changes proposed (with a minor modification) had desired that a review should be carried out in two years' time.
1.1 The New Scenario and Need for Changes The last two years have witnessed some major changes. First of all, the new funding pattern for the IIT’s involving effectively lower budgetary allocation by the Govt. of India but with a provision for encouraging these Institutions to increase their earnings, is being implemented Secondly, the liberalized economic and industrial policies seem to be not only encouraging major industrial R&D units abroad to look out actively at India for sourcing competitive in terms of quality and costs – leading to renewed emphasis on R&D and utilization of expertise available in premier Educational and R&D Institutions. Thirdly, the Institute has witnessed a substantial ‘renewal’ of its faculty (arising from retirements and fresh appointments) who have brought with them newer areas of expertise as well as newer culture. They require significant additional support if their R&D work is to keep pace with developments elsewhere in the world; at the same time newer opportunities are available to the institute to provide a wider range of services. This substantial ‘renewal’ is expected to be an ongoing process for the next seven to eight years. Finally, the now ubiquitous CAD-CAM techniques and Information Technology as powerful developmental tools. Have led to substantial changes in emphasis and methodology of design as well as analysis work. All these factors call for new structures and apt responses.
1.2 Methodology for Generating Structures and Responses In recognition of the changed scenario as well as the Board of Governor’s preference for a review, the Director vide his letter D-III/C-13/95 dated 13th July ’95 appointed a committee with the composition and terms of reference indicated in Annexures II and III. The committee initially met on three occasions and discussed certain broad issues as well as several suggestions which had emerged. At the end of this exercise, the committee considered it desirable to draw up a questionnaire with a view to elicit responses views / suggestions. The questionnaire (Annexure IV) was circulated t oall faculty and core Scientific and Research Officers/Engineering. 61 completed questionnaires were received representing around 17% of the faculty strength and over 30% of the number involved in consultancy practice. The committee also invited nearly a dozen active consultants for a personal discussion in order to elicit additional views and suggestions. Subsequently the committee met on four more occasions to discuss and finalize its recommendations. The broad philosophical and practical considerations involved existing as briefly discussed followed by the major recommendations.
1.3 Some Major Considerations of Relevance in the Current Context
The new funding pattern for the IIT’s and the era of liberalization which had just commenced as well as initiatives in order to sustain existing levels of excellence and seek new horizons and scale greater heights. The new funding pattern make it imperative that we move closer to industry - for instance, by offering a variety of- services. Consultancy services, obviously, provide a major platform for effective with industry ,as well as raising revenues. In this scenario, the Institution has to be prepare to' take several pro-active initiatives to promote consultancy activity, build up adequate awareness of the Institute's capabilities in respect of the range of services it can offer, and generate an ambience in which the existing expertise and skills are retained, updated and upgraded, and, new expertise added.
Interaction with industry through provision of consultancy services has assumed, of late, new dimensions. Industries, Financial Institutions and other clients are increasingly looking for comprehensive solutions requiring, at times, harnessing of external expertise. Clients are not only demanding strict adherence to time and cost frames (placing additional pressures on consulting faculty) but have also begun to insist on payment in parts, linked to milestones -requiring altertness and effective monitoring on the part of the Institute to ensure that schedules are met, and payments received in good time. Practically all International clients, as well as most of the clients within the country, have also begun to insist on signing contracts/MOUs spelling out scope, responsibilities, confidentiality requirements, schedules and payment tenDS -a culture rather new to our environment. There is also the possibility that the consultancy services may fall under the ambit of the legal protection offered to consumers of services. Substantial faculty renewal which has occured during the last five to seven years has also brought into sharp focus a clear need for highlighting the role, impact and scope of consultancy.
2.1 Role and Impact of Consultancy
It is widely accepted that consultancy constitutes an important professional activity in any Institution devoted to Technological Education arid Research. Consultancy assignments provide exposure to real life problems which call for solutions in specified time frames. Consultancy can help an academic in making teaching interesting and invigorating -through examples and case studies drawn from the experience gathered through implementation of projects. Consultancy can also provide clues towards selection and pursuit of R&D projects with a strong application bias. The assignments may often call for innovative Solutions within certain imposed constraints -in terms of costs and schedules. Solutions provided through consultancy assignments could-help-in sensitizing one-to current and future requirements and could nucleate innovation and invention. In the overall analysis, consultancy assignments can be professionally enriching and can significantly elevate the qualities of teaching, learning, research and development and, contribute towards technological growth.
Consultancy assignments also provide opportunities for elevating one's professional status and ensure visibility. An active consultant from an academic Institution can not only playa vital role in shaping governmental and corporate policies through significant technological inputs, but also contribute substantially towards technical decisions aimed at corrective measures, creativity, and performance improvements. High levels of professional status and recognition can bring immense satisfaction to the individual and credit to the Institution. In addition, consultancy assignments offer opportunities to the individual as well as the Institution to augment income.
Substantial consultancy activities have also been seen to have an indirect but very significant beneficial impact on teaching and research. Invariably hardware, software, unused components and consumables accruing from consultancy projects provide significant support to student projects. Active consultancy can also assist in the placement of students. Evidently, consultancy needs to be recognised as an important facet of the Institutional activities and, provided with the requisite levels of support, and appropriate recognition as a performance indicator.
In an Institution devoted to teaching and research, it is, however, vital to ensure that the key objectives are always kept in sight and relentlessly pursued. Dissemination of knowledge, widening of mental horizons, scholarship, and, extension and expansion of the frontiers of knowledge need to be accorded their legitimate status of primacy. Consultancy, with all its beneficial facets, has to be seen as an able ally in these pursuits, but can never become a substitute for any of the primary functions. In this context, it is extremely satisfying to note that an overwhelming majority of the faculty responses to the questionnaire, have accorded Teaching, Academic research and Sponsored Research, primacy over Consultancy and other Professional and managerial functions. It is clear that current faculty perception of the relative roles of teaching, research and consultancy are very much in tune with the Institutional objectives. However, it is not entirely unlikely that the current environment in which (i) resource raising has become crucial, (ii) individual enterprise is being accorded higher recognition leading to legitimate expectations in terms of appropriate rewards, and (iii) the general ambience of 'consumerism' (seen as a vehicle for economic development) which dictates 'market demands', could generate some confusing signals. It is in this context that the committee has felt it necessary to reiterate the priorities vis-a-vis consultancy.
2.2 Scope of Consultancy
2.2.1 Time apportioned for consultancy
A related issue concerns the desirable amount of time
one can apportion to consultancy. Most Institutions seem to consider one day
per week, or fifty to fifty two days in a year, as a reasonable period.
Existing norms at lIT
(i) can one day per week norm be interpreted as one working day per week, and can we have a provision for adding one or two days at the week ends and other Institute holidays?, and
(ii) what is the need for' imposing' such a limit. is it not more appropriate to leave this to the discretion of each consulting faculty/ scientist / engineer. With the requirement of "no adverse impact on other primary functions"?
While this committee fully appreciates the credentials and capabilities of consulting staff, it needs to be pointed out that (i) pursuit of excellence needs a proactive (and not a "no adverse impact") 'approach, and (ii) practically everyone needs 'recharging' - through adequate periodic rest, relaxation and pursuit of other non professional interests, to ensure continuous elevation of the quality of output. Further, unlike in an Institution devoted almost exclusively to undergraduate education, there are no major 'peaks' and 'troughs' in terms demands on faculty time; all that one has is a little more flexibility in terms of scheduling during the non (formal) teaching periods.
Presently a significant portion of the faculty time needs to be spent on "following up" activities which are vital under the existing conditions. Consequently, it would seem advisable, and necessary -at least for the time being -to retain the current norms in spirit. It may be feasible to interpret the current norms (related to time spent on consultancy) as the equivalent of 52 working days in a calendar year, plus (on an average) one additional day per week -the latter to be accommodated during week ends, holidays, and vacations. Such an interpretation, however, needs to be circumscribed by the (a) the priorities spelt out for consultancy vis-à-vis other activities, (b) the special requirements associated with a residential institution in terms of availability for consultation by students, colleagues and other key functionaries.
2,2.2 Types of consultancy activities
A third issue concerns the type of activities which need to be pursued. The majority of the respondents to the questionnaire seem to be clear that we need to concentrate, by and large, on areas of expertise unique to the Institution, or .niche' areas. A significant number appear to feel that it would be quite in order to take up assignments of a 'routine nature' -be it consultancy projects, or, testing and standardization work. A view has also been persistently expressed that our Consultancy services need to be "competitive" vis-a-vis the services offered by consultants and consultancy organizations outside the Institution. The committee discussed this issue at length, and felt that it would neither be feasible, nor justifiable, to think in terms of offering services in competition with other consultancy organisations. There exists, however, some scope for offering services available elsewhere, at the request and insistence of valued clients who would be ready, if required, to pay a premium for the quality of the services as well as the exceptionally high levels of 'professionalism' associated with the institute faculty in all their dealings. Services outside niche areas (and sometimes on special terms) may also have to be offered, quite often upon request, to governmental and quasi- governmental departments/organizations to meet the obligations perceived in view of our funding pattern, as well as needs of the society at large. While the need for accepting competition as an inescapable feature of the ambience in which we are functioning is very clear, this committee is unable to either accept or envisage a situation in which we need to revise our strategies, norms or working practices, to facilitate offering of consultancy services in competition with other full time consultants and consultancy agencies.
2.3 Role and Contribution of the Individual and the Institution
The new ambience seems to have had its inevitable impact on the expectations of the consulting faculty and staff, in terms of higher rewards for individuals' enterprise, initiative and performance. The perception that the Institution's prosperity depends on the individual's prosperity appears to be gaining ground, albeit slowly. At this juncture, it is perhaps necessary to assess afresh the roles and contributions of the individuals and the Institution -for purposes of defining, or redefining, the premises on which the rules, norms, and revenue distribution practices need to be based.
The committee, while understanding the new compulsions and expectations, wishes to reiterate some basic facts. Requests for consultancy services come to the Institute due to a variety of factors, such as (i) the professional status, reputation, and, expertise in niche areas, associated with specific individual faculty members, which enable elevation of the quality of services and hence command substantial premia, (ii) and the Institutional reputation. The roles of the individual and the Institution are complementary and most often value addition arises from this. The individual provides the intellectual inputs and skills and harnesses his expertise and experience towards meeting the client's requirements.
The Institution, on the other hand, provides a diverse range of infrastructural facilities and services which facilitate consultancy and related activities. The effective costs of such facilities and services, reckoned in terms of major initial investments, periodic up gradation etc. cannot be underestimated. More importantly, the Institutional reputation for excellence, expertise and ethical practices plays a substantial role in attracting consultancy opportunities. Although the roles of the individuals and the institution are closely intertwined, it needs to be emphasized that the Institution adds substantially to the stature of the individuals. It needs inputs to maintain and improve upon the infrastructural facilities for ensuring higher levels of excellence in teaching, research and development, and consultancy services -in an ambience in which several departments and centres, by the very nature of their disciplines, cannot attract significant consultancy assignments and yet provide substantial support, and, crucial value addition -in terms of their contributions to education and research. Finally, as per existing statutory requirements all consultancy activity is to be channeled through the Institution and the Institution assumes some indirect responsibility for completion of the assignments to the satisfaction of the clients. Consequently the Institution has to necessarily look forward to a reasonable share of the revenues.
2.4 Support for Professional Development
One factor which needs urgent attention relates to professional development. The professional status of the consulting faculty and staff needs to be elevated continuously. This requires up gradation of special skills, increasing technological awareness, effective communicational aids, professional visibility, mobility, and conformity with other professional needs and practices -all of which require substantial investments/expenditure. With the shrinking Institutional support tor professional development, it is imperative that appropriate provisions are made to harness a part of consultancy earnings towards professional development and related expenditure. The role of continuous professional development has to be fully appreciated and adequate provisions need to be made to facilitate such development, if we are to take full advantage of the global opportunities arising from the recent structural changes in commerce and trade, and, the increasingly crucial role of technology.
3 SOME SPECIFIC ASPECTS
Some of the specific issues related to the terms of reference need to be discussed briefly, in order to provide the basis for the recommendations which follow.
3.1 Growth of Consultancy
Data culled from the records available in the office of the Dean (R&D), presented in Table 3.1, show impressive growth in consultancy assignments as well as revenues over the last decade. Such a noteworthy level of growth can only be ascribed to (i) an increasing appreciation of the role of consultancy in professional as well as Institutional development, (ii) excellent rapport established with clients, (iii) enhanced levels of awareness, in the industrial as well as service sector, of the crucial importance of quality and efficiency, and an appreciation of the role this reputed Institution could play in meeting their requirements. The growth is all the more impressive when considered in the context of an apparently insufficient awareness, amongst the faculty, of the value which could be assigned to their time spent on consultancy -although some guidelines provided in recent times seem to have made an impact. The consultancy base has widened, and, the clientale has become more diverse. In recent years, a modest number of International consultancy assignments have also been completed.
GROWTH OF CONSULTANCY PROJECTS
Numbers Amount (Rs. In lakhs)
The most significant impact of this growth in consultancy activities appears to be in terms of increased visibility in the Industrial and Service sectors, and, enhanced levels of interaction. The increased revenues accruing have upgraded the level of support for education and research, and modernisation of infrastructure and facilities. Consultancy revenues are also being increasingly employed in providing short term financial support to postgraduate students in need of support. The recent provision for an International travel component in project costing has enabled a significant number of faculty to present and discuss their research work at International Seminars / Symposia / Conferences /Workshops, and partially filled the ever-widening gap between the demands and the (very modest) Institutional budgetary provisions for such travel. In the overall assessment, the growth in consultancy activity has had a highly beneficial impact and there is strong justification for broadening the base and encouraging consultancy activity with some innovative changes in the rules/norms - for the benefit of the Institute as well as the individual. The resulting increased interaction with the industrial and service sectors would represent an added benefit.
3.2 Making Consultancy More Attractive and increasing the Institutional Share of the Revenue
Observations to the effect that the consultancy services offered by the Institute are too expensive are very few and far between; even such complaining clients have invariably been convinced, through rational reasoning, of the appropriateness of the tenns. Thus, so far as the clients are concerned, there is no major need to believe that the Institutional norms ought to be revised with a view to reduce the charges payable (by them).
The committee discussed, at length, the issue of making consultancy more attractive to the faculty. Views have been expressed from time to time that consultancy can be made more attractive by reducing the Institutional share of the revenues, thereby enhancing the consultant's share. It is difficult to see much merit in such an argument, since the Institution provides substantial infrastructural support, and, resources are needed to maintain and augment such support. Also, the impact of reducing the Institutional share in order to enhance the individuals share would be very marginal in the prevailing external ambience. Further, the restrictions imposed by the statutes/fundamental rules -in terms of the permissible routes for channeling consultancy assignments as well the minimum Institutional share of honoraria/fees paid -need to be kept in focus.
The committee after a prolonged debate arrived at the conclusion that consultancy could become attractive only when adequate financial support is provided for Professional Development. Such a provision could meet the most significant requirements of a researcher- or innovator, in terms of continuous professional up gradation and relatively low levels of dependence on the meager Institutional budgetary allocation for the same. A Professional Development Fund, with inputs from consultancy projects can create a resource pool which could be utilized to meet the Professional Development related expenditure for those active professionally. The recommendations and related annexures provide some essential details relating to resource mobilisation for the Professional Development Fund and utilization of the same.
3.3 The Library Component
The existing library component of the cost structure has, of late, become a source of considerable dissatisfaction. It has not been possible to increase the allocation for journals subscribed to the Central Library due to financial constraints. The ever- increasing subscription rates have necessitated 'pruning'. The increasingly interdisciplinary nature of R&D activity makes any pruning often appear unacceptable and arbitrary. Further, the skewed distribution of consultancy efforts and earnings leads to an understandable feeling amongst the major earning departments that their efforts do not receive due recognition in terms of library support -despite (their) contributing substantially. This committee is of the view that every effort should be made to intensify the level of library support -through increased allocations and/or effective networking and, pruning should be related to a performance parameter of any discipline. After considerable discussion, it \vas felt that the library component be deleted from the project/assignment costing format. In order to recognise the needs and contributions of the earning departments/centres, an increase in the percentage allocation to the Departmental Development Fund (DDF) has been recommended; departments/centres could consider utilizing these funds to augment library support.
4. SOME RELATED FACETS
Two facets of consultancy activity have been widely commented upon by the faculty and discussed intensively by the committee. The first relates to simplification of the consultancy proposal format and the second, to group or team efforts; these are briefly discussed below:
4.1 Changes in Proposal Format
An overwhelming majority of actively consulting faculty, as well as respondents to the questionnaire have outlined the need for simplifying the format, especially the costing part. Currently, the costing format includes several items on which overheads are separately calculated and, this often leads to cost estimates which could prove taxing to the consulting faculty in terms of the effort involved in calculating several sub-overheads. It would be far simpler to add overheads reckoned as a reasonable percentage of the total project cost.
A second aspect concerns the information sought in terms of current commitments. The move to seek this information was strongly influenced by a perceived need to ensure that faculty could use this information for effective time management and avoid taking on a large number assignments simultaneously. The limits on annual consultancy earnings which existed earlier could have automatically minimised overcommitment. The relaxation of the ceiling on earnings, however, had raised the possibility of overcommittment which could lead to failures to meet schedules. It needs to be pointed out here that amongst the relatively few complaints received by the Dean (R&D) in respect of consultancy services the most commonly encountered complaints relate to failure to meet deadlines. The information sought was also expected to assist the Heads of Departments / Centres and the Dean (R&D) to revert back to the faculty for a discussion in case there \vas even a remotely perceived possibility of failure to meet the schedules. This was considered essential as all consultancy assignments are awarded, in principle, to the Institute (and implemented by consulting faculty) and the client could have legitimate expectations from the Institute.
There seems to have been a totally unwarranted apprehension that those who have substantial teaching, academic and sponsored research commitments could be denied the facility of taking up consultancy assignments. A careful review of working experience over the years suggests that a very large proportion of active consultants are also very active in teaching and research. Further, over the last two years, there have been very few cases which the Dean (R&D) was constrained to refer back to any department for reconsideration - indicating that the practice of seeking such detailed information could be dispensed with. The committee, however, strongly feels that information on ongoing consultancy projects must be sought; such a practice will serve a useful purpose in terms of reducing the risks associated with overcommittment and opens up possibilities of assessing alternate path-ways for meeting the clients' requirements -by group/team efforts, rescheduling etc.
The third and related aspect Concerns the need for a clear and unambiguous definition of the scope of the assignments, deliverables, and schedules, if required, through discussions. Acceptance of consultancy assignn1ents may have to be based on such clarity, and, an appropriate declaration to be signed by the client -considering the possibilities of consultancy services coming under the purview of consumer courts.
4.2 Team or Group Efforts
The need for a continuous and significant growth in consultancy activity cannot be overstressed. In order to ensure such growth, it is important to retain existing expertise and skills in productive areas, and also add on new expertise and skills. Further, the consultancy base needs to be widened and this cannot be ensured by financial incentives alone. Sustained efforts are required to induct young faculty into consultancy activity and this can be more easily accomplished through group efforts -with a currently active consultant as a team leader. Such group efforts can also help in overcoming minor compatibility problems and promote group efforts in research activities as well, such group or team efforts can often ensure value addition through harnessing of additional expertise, and enthusiasm, Further, team efforts can ensure satisfactory implementation of several assignments simultaneously. and also help in building up relationships with clients which could be sustained over decades. While group activity or team efforts cannot be ensured through coercion. it is important that there should be sustained, and proactive efforts towards group consultancy activity. This committee is convinced that the need for group/team efforts is urgent and very pressing-- considering the interdisciplinary nature of most industrial activity, and, the rapid rates of renewal of faculty through retirements and new appointments. In this context, the committee considers it desirable to have group efforts in large magnitude jobs. It is suggested that any developmental assignment involving total charges exceeding Rs l0.0 lakhs should preferably involve group efforts, Efforts should be made to involve compatible consultants and the feasibility of initiating willing new and young faculty into consultancy activity should be examined.
A related issue concerns the methodology of handling major Institutional jobs (ie those not identifying a specific consultant or set of consultants). Normally, the Dean (R&D) sends such requests to the Heads of the concerned Departments/ Centres. It would be advisable, especially in the context of rapid faculty renewal, to immediately circulate such requests to all concerned, convene a quick meeting to discuss the scope, assess the availability of expertise and identify the group which can take up the assignment. Considering the interdisciplinary nature of most activity, the Dean (R&D) may also consider the feasibility of entrusting such jobs to cohesive teams assembled from a number of disciplines.
4.3 Supporting Staff
A related issue, in this context, concerns the advisability of relaxing limits on earnings of supporting staff. At first sight, it would appear logical to relax the existing limits in the light of the current ambience of premium on enterprise and performance. The need for ensuring sustained availability, of skills, however, demands that there exists a pool of individuals with the requisite skills, spread over a range of age groups. This necessarily entails group efforts and rotation of existing supporting start: with provisions for imparting skills through in-house training programmes. Such group/team activity can provide additional motivation, preserve morale, reduce tensions in the work place, and generate additional support for non remunerative R&D projects. Considering all relevant factors, this committee is of the view that the existing limits provide scope for reasonable augmentation of income, and, at the same time ensure an ambience in which collective involvement can be sustained, and hence need to be retained.
4.4 Testing, Evaluation and Standardisation
Over the last two decades, the Institute has evolved the right practices in this regard - minimising routine testing to the extent feasible, and, permitting 'special' testing for which facilities are not readily available elsewhere. The minimum testing charges levied at present at Rs.4400 per assignment has also helped to keep routine testing down to manageable levels. However, during the last two to three years, the demands on testing and evaluation have become considerable, probably due to the opening up of the economy and the resulting free export- import environment. Most of the requests come from the Customs and the Central and State Govt. departments. The reputation which the Institute enjoys in terms of objectivity impartiality and precision of results seems to provide the key attraction, and. it has become increasingly difficult to turn down such requests. A second aspect which could become increasingly important, relates to calibration and standardisation. With the emphasis on quality and the requirements of obtaining International certification for quality management, calibration of key quality control facilities is expected to become increasingly important. The pressures on the Institute in this regard are beginning to intensify and our facilities in this regard may have to be considerably augmented, Periodic calibration of our Own calibration facilities against approved primary standards and up gradation of facilities in areas of 'demand' would need concerted efforts as well as investments
The committee is of the view that while the current practice of minimising routine testing needs to retained, we need to meet the special requirements of key Govt. departments as well as societal needs. In view of the existing financial situation -leading to very modest levels of funding for laboratories and equipment -specialized testing as well as calibration / standardisation services, requiring special skills need to be encouraged. It would be worthwhile considering a 'special cell' which could co-ordinate the utilization and up gradation of facilities available in various departments and centres, and fix appropriate 'standard' charges -consistent with the requirements of skills and investments, and Institutional needs in respect of resources. For the current type of testing and evaluation jobs the minimum charges need to be revised upwards (marginally) to Rs.5000/-. The cost estimate format needs to be simplified by levying a collective 'Overheads' or 'Institute Charges' which, in turn, could be shared appropriately \\1th the departments/centres providing such services.
4.5 Technology Transfer Fees/Royalties
A modest number of cases involving Technology Transfer have arisen in the recent past. Also, some of the Consultancy Assignments entailing developmental work in respect of devices / software / products with a very substantial market potential, could be taken up on a part down -payment and part -royalty basis. In either of the cases, there is a need to rationalise the Institute's share of such revenues and bring them on par with consultancy income - with the same benefits, privileges and responsibilities. Sometimes, specific developmental projects of potential commercial interest are internally funded -at modest levels. In such instances, the net accruals (revenues accruing less expenditure incurred through internal funding) need to be considered for disbursal -along the same lines as for consultancy income.
CONSULTATIVE PRACTICE RULES AND NORMS (1996)
1 Consultancy Services may be offered to Industries, Service Sector, Govt. Departments and other National and International agencies in 'niche areas' of expertise available in the Institute.
1.1. The service offered will be along the lines of 'Professional Services' and will , hence carry with them obligations and ethical requirements associated with such services.
1.2. Consultancy services offered may cover a variety of activities such as : Feasibility Studies; Technology Assessments; Assessment of Designs and/or Current Manufacturing Process; Material, Energy, Environmental and Manpower Audits; Product Design; Process Development, Software Development; General trouble-shooting, Retrofitting exercises, Intensive efforts for transfer of highly focused skills and expertise to select groups in specific organisations etc.
1.3. Testing & Evaluation services are to be normally offered in selected specialized areas. In order to meet the needs of certain Governmental and related agencies, and special clients (with long term association with the Institute) routine testing services may be offered, but to a limited extent.
1.4. Standardisation and Calibration services may be offered in areas in which facilities are available or can be augmented. Such services should normally be backed by periodic Calibration / Standardisation of laboratory equipment used for such purposes.
1.5. Jobs which are too complex to handle, by virtue of certain constraints inherent in any academic and research environment -such as execution of works, should not normally be taken up irrespective of the availability of expertise and perceived needs of the clients.
1.6. All Consultancy and related Jobs need to be structured and executed in the spirit of promoting lIT -Industry Interaction, and as a vehicle for augmenting (current) levels of excellence in teaching and research, and in the process, generating funds.
1 Consultancy and related services offered may be divided into three broad categories: Category A: Assignments involving nominal use of Institute Facilities, notably Retainership Assignments which are open ended, and advisory.
Category B: Assignments requiring Research and Developmental work involving
significant use of Institute/Departmental facilities. Generally all jobs other than
Retainership assignments and Testing, Evaluation Calibration and
Standardisation services are expected to be classified in this category.
Category C: Testing, Evaluation, Calibration and Standardisation tasks.
2 Consultancy and related assignments can be taken up by Faculty, and, Core Research Scientists and Engineers in Departments/ centres -(hereafter referred to as consultants)
3 The time spent on consultancy and related assignments shall be limited to the equivalent of 52 working days in a year, preferably at the rate of one working day per week. In addition, Consultants may be permitted to utilize, on an average one non- working day per week.
4.1 Consultancy and related assignments may, however, be taken up and implemented, within the constraints indicated above, provided they do not have any adverse impact on the ongoing and potential academic, research and related activities. Further, such assignments need to be carefully scheduled in the light of ongoing commitments. If required, a clear indication of the earliest date on which the assignment can commence may be clearly spelt out in the proposal form.
4.2 Travel out of the campus on account of consultancy activities should be undertaken with intimation to the Head of the Department/Centre. In the case of Heads of Depts/Centres, intimations should be sent to the Director.
4.3 Outstation travel on Consultancy Assignments may be undertaken normally with the prior approval of the Head of the Department/ Centre, or, the Director (in the case of Heads of Departments/ Centres). It is, however, anticipated that such approvals will be given within two working days in order to ensure that prior commitments to clients are honoured. In emergencies, prior intimation and subsequent sanction could be considered acceptable.
5. All consultancy requests will be received by the Dean (R&D) as per present practice. The work can be assigned to specific consultants or groups of consultants "depending on expertise, and existing commitments.
5.1 In the event of a client preferring the services of a specific consultant, the assignment may normally be assigned to the identified person, provided the requirements in
respect of 4 and 4.1 are satisfied.
5.2 All acceptance letters will be sent by the Dean (R & D), as per present practice.
5.3 Consultancy project proposals (prepared in response to a clients' request) are to be approved by the Dean (R & D) who may examine the scope of the work and cost
estimates. It is essential to discuss proposed work plans with a client vis-a- vis the scope, in order to obtain clarity before preparing the cost estimates,
5.4 Cost estimates may be prepared in the forms (or as per the format) shown in Annexure V. The scope of the work, finalized (normally) after a discussion with the client, should be spelt out clearly in an attached sheet and signed by the Project Leader, and, preferably by all consultants in the project team. To facilitate easy transmission of information, the attached sheet outlining the scope, should be typewritten. Such a sheet should also include the duration and the earliest possible date of commencement (after receipt of payment) and a tentative date of completion.
5.5 In extreme emergencies, a consultant may take up an assignment with intimation to the Dean (R&D), and then seek approval. It would, however, be necessary to ensure
that the task involved is not a major one entailing total charges not more than Rs.25,OOO or, two days of faculty time, and payments are made immediately -well
before submission of any formal report.
5.6 The charges once finalized will not be negotiable. However, if the scope is altered, a fresh estimate may be considered.
5.7 The minimum charges applicable in respect of category C jobs will be Rs.5000. In respect of category B jobs, the same lower ceiling is to be retained. Category A jobs
should involve a minimum retainership period of six months.
5.8 It is desirable that Preliminary Diagnostic Discussions/Site Visits, leading to the
generation of consultancy proposals may be charged at a minimum rate of Rs.2000 (or US$200 or equivalent in the case of international assignments) per day or part there
of, in addition to travel and incidental expenses as applicable. However, as an industry friendly move, such charges could be absorbed into the final project cost if the project
5.9 Conditional Consultancy' projects entailing (i) bare essential costs for diagnostic visits and proposal preparation and (ii) a provision for benefit sharing, may be taken up.
Such projects, however, need to be initially targetted . at larger well established industries, and will have to entail Agreements/MOUs relating to basis of assessment of
benefits, proportion of benefit to accrue to the Institute, and, a schedule of payments.
5.10 Consultants taking up developmental work need to be conscious of the prospects of patents/copyright and related Intellectual Property Rights issues. It is to be noted that
patents/copyright are granted to inventors/authors and clients funding such work may overlook this aspect. The feasibility of working out suitable arrangements in this regard should be discussed with Dean(R&D) and suitable arrangements worked out. The arrangements could include (i) A ward of the patent/copy right registration to the inventor/author with assignement of all commercial rights to the funding client, or (ii) Charging of developmental costs and obtaining a share of royalties and/or down payment.
6. The services of external consultants (especially
retired Faculty/Research Scientists/Research Engineers) may be utilized to a
limited extent in order to provide comprehensive services to clients. Such
external consultants will be entitled to a lumpsum honorarium! fees which may
be fixed after taking into account essential expenditure directly related to
the assignment; normal deductions by way of Institutional charges, and,
mandatory taxes will, however be made. The honoraria payable to External
Consultants may not, normally, exceed 40% of the Consultancy Fee for lIT,
7. The charges for any assignment are normally payable in advance. However, exceptions may be made in respect of assignments involving charges exceeding Rs.100, 000 and with implementation periods exceeding 3 months.
7.1 In the case of large assignments, a payment schedule, linked to milestones, can be worked out. Such a payment schedule should ensure that (i) advance payment is received for every segment of work, and (ii) the number of installments are reasonable and consistent with ease of implementation. The number of installments may not exceed four for a project implemented over a one year period, and, this number needs to be scaled down accordingly for I shorter duration projects.
8. Provision needs to be made for Professional Development expenses for facilitating professional development and elevation of consultants, to enable them to meet the challenging and diverse requirements of national and international clients. In pursuit of this, it is proposed that a Professional Development Fund be created. The inputs to the fund will comprise the excess (over and above the minimum prescribed) amounts transferred to the IRCC account. The amounts accumulated in the Professional Development Fund may be utilized to meet reasonable expenditure related to professional development and elevation (Annexure V provides a list of items which may be permitted by way of professional development expenditure).
8.1 The Professional Development Fund will comprise a sub unit of the IRCC account (like Departmental Development Fund etc.) and will be operated by the Dean (R&D). A
committee comprising the Dean (R&D), Dean(RD) and one member of the IRCC Advisory Committee may draw up norms and guidelines for extending professional
development assistance to individual consultants, for approval by the Director. In drawing up the norms and guidelines, due consideration needs to be given to the level of
professional activity of the consultant -through consultancy, industry funded sponsored research, and other externally funded sponsored research leading to major
augmentation of institutional research facilities. The Dean (R&D) may process requests for professional development assistance as per the approved norms and guidelines.
8.2 In order to facilitate accruals to the Professional Development Fund, the Consultancy Fee charged by any lIT, Bombay Consultant [item 8a of Annexure VII (Part 2)] may
be apportioned as follows:
Annual Consultancy Fee Slab
30 to 70
250,001 to 500,000
30 to 60
30 to 70
External Consultants (all slabs)
The share accruing to IRCC at the minimum percentages prescribed (column 2) may be utilized as spelt out in 10.4. The amounts in excess of the minimum may be transferred to the Professional Development Account.
9. The Professional charges for assignments under categories A and B should not normally be below Rs.2000 per 'person day' or 'brain day'. Higher amounts may be charged depending on the area of expertise and opportunity costs. In cases involving projects carried out for charitable organizations involved in public welfare services, the minimum charges can be revised downwards in consultation with the Dean (R&D). Whenever it is proposed that professional charges should be in excess of Rs.15,000 or $500 per day, the Dean (R & D) may give his approval after consulting an IRCC sub-committee (if considered necessary).
9.1 Costing of services of supporting staff should be along the guidelines suggested in Annexure VI. It is anticipated that the services of stuudents will not, normally, be utilized in
consultancy assignments -in the interests of their own academic work. In exceptional cases, services of students may be utilized with the prior approval of the Dean (R&D).
The services of students so utilized may be compensated through honoraria, under CPTS.
9.2 In the case of clients with whom there is a long association and assessed potentialities for growth, of consultancy as well as collaboration in the Institutional Educational and
Research and Development activities, the per day charges may be marginally revised downwards in order to create a 'special client' category.
9.3 In the case of large sized jobs, a provision may be made for infrastructural up gradation, if considered desirable, in the cost estimate under 'any other item' of expenditure
9.3 Amounts payable to RSIC (or any similar internal unit) in respect of services utilized may also be included under External Services. With regard to services proposed to be
drawn from RSIC, the rates applicable to consultancy assignments should be ascertained.
10. The current cost estimate forms may be replaced by those shown in Annexures VII and VIII.
10.1 The current scheme involving multiple overheads and library charges be replaced by the following:
a) 10% overheads on the total estimated cost for category A jobs, provided such jobs are with reputed firms and retainership is for minimum of three months at a time. Further, utilization of Institute infrastructure should be nominal. It is preferable that the client should meet directly the consultant's travel and hospitality related costs so as to minimize the workload on the Project and Consultancy Cell, and at the same time enable consulting faculty to avail facilities and privileges on par with their counterparts in industry. The total charges for projects under this category will entail only professional charges, miscellaneous/ contingencies, and travel -if the client does not wish to meet these charges directly; it would be normally expected that the professional charges would account for atleast 75% of the total project cost less the travel component wherever applicable.
b) 15% overheads on the total estimated cost for category B jobs.
c) 30% overheads on the total estimated cost for category C jobs. All jobs based essentially on testing/evaluation -entailing extensive and intensive use of equipment and facilities -such as (i) assignments received through or on behalf of the Customs Department, (ii) work involving testing of construction materials/mixes, (iii) monitoring of waste streams through analysis of representative samples etc., will come under this category.
10.2 In instances involving purchase of major equipment /software packages costing Rs.1,00,000 or more, the Dean (R&D), may at his disretion permit reducing the overheads on such items. This concession may, however, be extended only to hardware/software which have a substantial educational/research /future consultancy value, and are retained by the Institute and made available (at no charges) to students and other users across the Institute on time sharing basis (beyond the tenure of the concerned consultaIlCY project).
10.3 The consultancy fee, charges under CPTS, supervision and opinion charges may be apportioned as indicated below:
10.3.1 30% of CPTS, and also on the salaries/honoraria payable to those specifically
employed on any consultancy project will accrue to the IRCC. This component may, however, be waived in situations in which Masters degree students are wholly supported on consultancy projects (i.e. with no liability to the Insititute in terms of Teaching/Research Assistantships, or, any other regular payment).
10.3.2 The consultancy fee would acrue to IRCC/The Consultant(s) as indicated in
table under 8.2.
10.3.3 In the case of jobs which involve essentially testing, evaluation,
standardisation or calibration, but calling for an opinion almost wholly based on the results of such work, an additional 'opinion fee' may be charged. The opinion fee, as well as supervision charges, may be shared in the same manner as the consultancy fee.
10.3.4 The Contingency Component, not exceeding 10% of the total estimated cost may be reimbursed on the basis of a statement (outlining expenditure components and
amounts) submitted by the consultant. Receipts/supporting evidence may be retained, if considered necessary, by the consultant until Statutory Auditing of the
accounts for the year is completed (ie normally till end of September in the following financial year) and need not be appended -in order to save on staff time and
reduce paper work.
10.4 The share accruing to the IRCC (Institute) from consultancy and other projects (as indicated in 1.2, 1.3 and 1.4), less the amounts transfered to the professional development fund, may be distributed and deployed as indicated below:
10.4.1 Departmental Development Funds of concerned departments/centres: 50%, to support departmental (or centre's) educational and research and development
activities, and, infrastructural and related requirements.
10.4.2 Institutional Funds: 40% to meet major infrastructural augmentation, R&D Sustenance, promotional efforts, and operating expenditure of the IRCC.
10.4.3 Staff Welfare Fund: 5%.
10.4.4 Student Welfare Fund: 5%.
10.5 The funds indicated in 10.4 may be utilized as indicated below:
10.5.1 The Departmental Development Funds may be utilized for the purposes indicated (in 10.4.1) by the Head of the Department/Centre concerned, in consultation with
the DPC or a Departmental Consultative Committee, and with the prior approval of the Dean (R&D).
10.5.2 The Institutional Funds may be utilized by the Dean (R&D) for operating expenditure of the IRCC, and, by the Director for Institutional Development Activity.
10.5.3 The contributions to Staff Welfare Fund and Student Welfare Funds may be Utilized by the Chairman of the Staff Welfare Committee and Dean (Student Affairs),
10.6 Consultancy Fees, as well as honoraria payable under CPTS, may be disbursed as indicated below:
a) In the case of short duration jobs entailing full advance payment, full disbursement upon completion of the job and receipt of (i) a certificate to that effect by the project leader, and (ii) the report referred to in 11.2.
b) In the case of long duration jobs entailing advance payment of instalments linked to milestones, partial disbursements may be made; such disbursements will be linked to the phase-wise CPTS and Professional Charges estimates to be provided by the project leader. and, the phase completion certificate, and a report along the lines refered to in 11.2.
10.6.1 Disbursements will be made on the basis of infonnation provided in the Disbursement form/Format shown in Annexure-IX.
11. It is essential to provide an effective framework to ensure smooth implementation of consultancy projects in the context of Educational, R&D and related activities. Also. the Dean's office should be in possession of basic information in respect of consultancy activities to meet various proactive as well as reactive needs. To meet these requirements. the implementation needs to be within the framework given below:
11.1 Proposals for large sized Developmental consultancy assignments involving outlays of Rs.IO lakhs or more may be reviewed by a small standing committee, comprising a segment of the IRCC Advisory Committee.
11.2 The Dean (R & D) should receive a short report on every consultancy project. upon completion. The report, in addition to giving basic information in respect of the name of client (organization), scope, duration and budget, should highlight in brief, the achievements and indicate the dates of commencement and completion. The reports need to be preserved as 'Classified Documents' for a period of typically five years (or any other agreed period). A collection of such reports may provide a reservoir of knowledge for appropriate future use.
11.3 Confidentiality, if required by the client, is to be strictly observed in respect of all consultancy and related jobs. All staff/students involved should sign a confidentiality agreement as per Annexure-X whenever required. All results sheets and reports should be retained as confidential documents, and, access and circulation should be restricted. Circulation and forwarding of information/reports should be in sealed envelopes marked 'classified'.
12. Technology Transfer fees and Royalties accruing may be disbursed along the same lines as consultancy income (as per 10.3.2). The facility of contribution to the Professional Developmental Account may also be extended to faculty/scientists/engineers identified with developmental efforts leading to such Technology Transfers. Do\vn payments and Royalties accruing from software development and transfer need to be included under this provision.
Within the framework defined above, earnings by faculty (and other ScientistlEngineers permited to take up consultancy assignments) will be governed by Section 8.2. In the case of Slip porting Staff receiveing payments under CPTS, the existing limit of honararia i.e. 1 year's gross salary per annum will continue to be inforce.
The Committee recommended that the above report along with Annexures (I to X) be considered for acceptance and implementation in superession of the rules and norms approved earlier.
____________________ ____________________ ____________________
(Shyam R. Asolekar) (S. S. Pande) (S. Suryanarayan)
____________________ ____________________ ____________________
(K.D. Deodhar) (P. K Rao) (V. S. Chandrasekaran)
(D.B. Phatak) (S. L. N. Murthy)
Dean (RD) Dean (R&D)
EFFORTS TOWARDS DEVELOPING
CONSULTANCY PRACTICES RULES AT lIT,
COMPOSITION OF THE CONSULTATIVE PRACTICE REVIEW COMMITTEE
THE CONSULTATIVE PRACTICE REVIEW COMMITTEE
(a) growth and diversification of consultancy activities.
(b) Departmental educational, research and other activities.
SUB:REVISION OF CONSULTANCY PRACTICE RULES FACULTY RESPONSE SHEETS
1- Amongst various facets of a faculty member’s functions how would you prioritize the following -Enter 1. 2. 3 …… in the boxes provided
2. Should the institution provide consultancy services
(Tick the appropriate box)
of a specialized nature requiring creativity
and demanding a premium
of a general nature and competitive with the
services available from other consultancy
or similar agencies
3. Should the Institute provide tasting, evaluation and calibration services
(Tick the appropriate box)
of a specialized nature, not readily available
in the vicinity'
of a nature available elsewhere, based on
requirements and facilities
over a wider range of specialized nature
augmenting facilities and skills
4. In your opinion. what would be a reasonable limit on the time which Can be spent on consultancy and related services? (Tick the appropriate box)
One working day per week
One working day plus one day during the week end
The equivalent Qf one day a week. 52 days in a year
Any other number
(enter the suggested number of days in the box)
5. Should we retain the current practices of
(Tick the appropriate box)
not imposing any limit on consultancy income for
faculty with a -progressively higher contribution
to the Institute as consultancy income increases
limiting the amounts payable to supporting
staff to a half year's salary
6. The time spent out of IIT
and out of
related assignments should be treated as
any other (please suggest)
7. In order to ensure
availability for various other Institutional activities, would you propose that
the number of days spent away from the
limited to days in a year
not limited but left to (check in the box if you agree
the discretion of the faculty with this)
8. Would you favour the following changes in the ‘forms’ to be filled
considerably simplify and YES NO add a lumpsum Institutional charge
eliminate the information to be filled YES NO
in on current assignments and expect the
HOD (or an empowered departmental committee)
to ensure a sense of balance
include a separate sheet enabling YES NO
more comprehensive and realistic
include a separate sheet in which a faculty member clearly defines the scope of the work and deliverables (after a discussion with the client). with a copy of such a sheet being appended to the letter indicating IIT’s ability to take-up the job and the charges payable
9. Should we resort to the services of ‘external consultants’ (could be retired and available faculty and staff. or others) to provide to the clients comprehensive solutions to their problems?
If yes what should be the ceiling. in terms of charges, on the services of external consultants?
(enter a percentage) CEILING
10. What are the ‘categories' of consultancy and related services we should offer?
(Tick the appropriate box)
Retainership (involving advice only)
Testing and Evaluation
Any others (please specify)
11.(a) Should we make a provision. for a part of the professional charges’ to be accumulated in Professional Development
Account for later use for Professional Development Activities, such a national/foreign travel for professional purposes, etc.
If yes, suggest a ceiling in terms of percentage of Professional Charges
Also specify kinds of expenses, which may be permitted from such an account
(b) Should we make a provision for charging other professional expenses to be included in the costing, (subject to a ceiling) and implement the same without too much paper work?
Ceiling (enter a percentage)
(c) Should we permit personal professional equipment (PC,printers etc.) maintenance and deprecation expenses to be charged to Consultancy Projects / Professional Development Account
Ceiling (based on the cost of the (enter a percentage)equipment/maintenance charges) Percentage)
12. In order to ensure "no conflict of interests' would you prefer monitoring/moderation by (Tick the appropriate box)
A Departmental Committee
An Institutional level Committee
(Local, National and International -for professional development).
(excluding Airconditioners and similar equipment).
(these normally include resonable accident insurance)
(additional, if required)
GUIDELINES FOR ESTIMATION OF MANPOWER COSTS
(A) Manpower costs may be estimated using the following norms:
1. Gross Emoulments
(Inclusive of Bonus, if admissible)
2. Assessed cost of other benefits/perks
(Twice that in Item I)?
Should we revise/retained?
3. Total Annual Cost: (1+2)
4. Effective notional cost per day = Total Annual Cost (item 3)
(B) Departments/Centres & Laboratories undertaking substantial developmental, or, testing/evaluation/standardization/ calibration work, entailing significant use of supporting staff may calculate average figures for selected salary slabs and use the same as a basis of calculation. In no case should the average figure so calculated be less than the figure indicated by A.4 above.
(C) The effective per day costs should be revised upwards from time to time (preferably annually) to provide for higher manpower costs and inflation.
(D) The guidelines are provided for manpower cost estimates to be used in working out project costs. Disbursals need not necessarily be along these figures, and should depend on the inputs from the staff concerned.
(E) The minimum amount charged on account of consultancy fee should be Rs.2000/- per day (delete 'processional charges')
Consultants may also use the same guidelines as in A, to estimate per day faculty cost. It is proposed that the minimum professional charges per day should be Rs.2000, (but subject to the minimum charges per assignment).
Annexure – X
In participating in the Consultancy and related (Testing / Evaluation / Standardization / Calibration) projects, I will abide by the requirements indicated below
Signature with Date
Name & Designation: