THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In a FIRST in the country, enterprising college teachers in Kerala can now take a break from academics to start their own venture. Those with innovative ideas will get paid fellowships for a two-year sabbatical with an assurance that they could rejoin the institution if they wish so.
The Government has approved a proposal of the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) to include teachers a part of the start-up story. The teachers can begin their own startups, form their groups or join as co-founders along with students.
“The participation of teachers, with active support from college authorities and parents, will bring experience and responsibility in the startups,” said IT secretary M Sivasankar.As per the proposal guidelines, faculty members can avail sabbatical with or without pay from their institutions.
The scheme is open only to regular teachers of the institutions.The institution should give an undertaking to re-induct the faculty member on completion of the leave, if he or she desires to rejoin. The leaves will be given as per the rules applicable to the institution they work for.
In case of non-payment or payment of reduced salary, the faculty member will be paid a fellowship of `50,000 or last drawn salary, whichever is lower during the period of sabbatical. The maximum duration of the fellowship is 24 months.
The expert panel to select teachers for fellowship comprises KSUM CEO Saji Gopinath, TCS Kochi chief technology officer Dinesh Thampi and representatives of APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University, Cochin University of Science and Technology and All India Council for Technical Education.Gopinath said KSUM had submitted the proposal to the Government. “The initiative will greatly contribute to the Government’s determined efforts to strengthen and accelerate the startup ecosystem through active participation of the teaching community,” he said.