New Delhi, Sep 24: HRD minister, Kapil Sibal has said that he was open to holding talks with the protesting IIT professors, but made it clear that the government is not in a position to meet their salary demands.
"We will be too happy to discuss anything..... I am ready to give them any autonomy they want," Sibal said, adding "India has to work under some constraints and it cannot afford the same kind of freedom or salaries which other developed countries like the US can afford."
Sibal said that he was open to a dialogue with the protesting teachers but did not agree with the 'ultimatum' of Oct 1 set by the faculty to address their grievances.
Promising autonomy and freedom from government interference in the affairs of the IITs, he reaffirmed that luxury like pay hikes would not be encouraged.
About 1,500 teachers of the premier educational institutions resorted to hunger strike on Thursday, Sep 24 demanding a pay hike.