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Letter to PM

  AIFUCTO
 
  All India Federation of University & College Teachers' Organisations

REPRESENTATION TO MHRD AND UGC

  

 

CHARTER OF DEMANDS ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF

 MHRD NOTIFICATION ON THE UGC PAY SCALES

FOR COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY TEACHERS

 

SUBMITTED TO THE MINISTRY OF HUMAN RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT,

DEPARTMENT OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND THE UNIVERSITY GRANTS COMMISSION AT NEW DELHI ON 5-1-2009

 

AIFUCTO places on record its appreciation for the improvements made in the MHRD notification on the pay scales of teachers in universities /colleges over the recommendations of the Chadha Committee, especially that in respect of the re-designation of incumbent Selection Grade Lecturers /Readers as Associate Professors and their placement in the revised scale of 37400-67000 with a grade pay of Rs.9000. However, AIFUCTO is deeply aggrieved that the notification has ignored most of the positive recommendations of the Chadha Committee, especially those relating to Central assistance and mandatory, uniform and simultaneous implementation of UGC Scales as a composite scheme, with effect from 1-1-2006, so much so that the objectives of maintenance of standards in higher education through out the country and inclusive development have been compromised to a large extent. AIFUCTO would urge the Government of India (GOI) to issue necessary modifications /clarifications in the above notification, taking into account, especially the following:

 

(1) Higher Education is placed in the concurrent list, implying sharing of powers and responsibilities between the Centre and States, with the balance of power and responsibility tilted in favour of the Centre.  Maintenance of standards in higher education is the statutory responsibility of UGC, which is a central agency. The Scheme of UGC Scales of Pay is being implemented   with the objective of ensuring uniform standards in higher education through out the country. The past experience of the implementation of UGC scales in several states has been most disappointing. Many states have failed to implement the scheme in toto, mainly because adequate financial support has not been given by the Centre for the implementation of the revised scales.  It was in consideration of the above that the AIFUCTO demanded central assistance to the states to the extent of 100% of the additional expenditure for the implementation the scheme for a period of 10 years from 1.1.2006. It may be recalled that the Chadha Committee had recommended 100% financial assistance for the first five years and 50% for the next five years. The MHRD has substantially reduced the quantum of central assistance to 80% of the additional expenditure and that too only for four years and three months.

 As a matter of fact, even the 80% central assistance is a mirage.  The assistance is only available to posts existing and filled up as on 1-1-2006 .Chadha Committee has estimated that about 45% of the posts are lying vacant. Central assistance will not be available to such posts, even when they are filled up. Central assistance will not also be available for new posts created after 1.1.2006.The assistance available for existing and filled up posts as on 1.1.2006 will be limited to four years and three months. This means that the effective central assistance is less than 20% of the additional expenditure for the implementation of the pay scales over a period of 10 years.  The share of the Central Government in the actual salary commitment in respect of state university/college teachers is less. It works out to only about 8% over the next ten years. The lion’s share of 92 % will have to be incurred by the states.  This is  especially so in respect of states which are taking steps to  fill up existing vacancies and create new posts , in accordance with the guidelines issued by MHRD and UGC for the implementation of the XI Plan Scheme for increasing access and quality of higher education. 

The meagre central assistance for attracting and retaining talented teachers in higher education is not in conformity with the vision of XI Plan, which has repeatedly been called an “Education Plan” by the Prime Minister. A mere continuation of failed policies and practices in respect of central assistance for the implementation of UGC scales in the past will not do for an “Education Plan”. The demands of AIFUCTO are moderate, considering the importance attached to quantitative and qualitative improvement of higher education in the XI Plan. Central assistance @ 100% of the additional commitment for the implementation of the new scales will only amount to the GOI sharing 25% of the total salary commitment of teachers in state universities/colleges for the next ten years. The rest of the 75% will still be borne by the states.  Considering the greater responsibilities of the Centre in respect of higher education and the greater financial resources available at its disposal vis-ŕ-vis states and the crucial role that higher education has come to play in overall development in a  knowledge driven economy, AIFUCTO demands that the central assistance @ 100% of the additional expenditure be made available for the next ten years to all posts existing as on 1.1.2006, as and when they are filled up and to new posts created since 1.1.2006, as and when they are filled up.

(2)About 88 % of the teaching and a part of the research in higher education is undertaken in the colleges and only the rest in universities. The project of inclusive development envisioned in the XI Plan will be seriously compromised by the provisions in the notification which recommend separate promotional prospects for university and college teachers. Similarly, the failure to ensure parity for Librarians / Directors of Physical Education with teachers in designation and age of superannuation is unjust in terms of the academic responsibilities undertaken by them. AIFUCTO demands that these anomalies be rectified, by extending all the promotional avenues of university teachers to college teachers as well and by ensuring parity of Librarians/Directors of Physical Education with teachers in all respects, including designation, promotional prospects and age of superannuation.

(3) Chadha Committee had recommended uniform and simultaneous implementation of the UGC package in toto with effect from 1-1-2006 through out the country. The MHRD notification has considerably diluted the principle of uniform and simultaneous implementation by permitting the states to fix a later date for the implementation of the scheme. AIFUCTO demands that this be rectified in view of the past experience of non-implementation/ partial implementation of the scheme in many states. The advance increments should also be made available from 1-1-2006.The Central Government may also immediately initiate a process of dialogue with the State Governments on the implementation of the scheme in toto w.e.f. 1.1.2006 and UGC may closely monitor the progress of the implementation of the scheme in the states over the years, as recommended by Chadha Committee, so as to ensure inclusive development of higher education in accordance with the vision of XI Plan. 

(4) Both Chadha Committee and the MHRD have privileged research over teaching and extension. The three functions of teaching, research and extension are integral to the higher education system, as has been recognized by the Kothari Commission. The marginalization of teaching and extension will lead to lopsided development. AIFUCTO demands that this anomaly be rectified by treating teaching and extension on par with research, by extending the benefits of additional increments for acquiring PhD in service to substantial contributions made to teaching and/or extension as well and by considering such contributions as eligibility criteria in lieu of PhD for CAS and for promotion to the post of Professor. Appropriate regulations in this respect may be framed by UGC in consultation with organizations of teachers. 

(5) The stipulation in the MHRD notification that no new departments shall be created in UG or PG colleges without prior approval of UGC is an unwarranted intrusion into the federal principles that govern the constitution of the country. This would also put hurdles in the expansion of higher education facilities, necessary for the realization of the target of 15% access in the XI plan. AIFUCTO demands that this provision be scrapped in view of its adverse repercussions on the centre-state relations, autonomy of universities and the targets set for access during the XI Plan. 

(6) One of the important objectives of the implementation of the UGC scales is to attract and retain the cream of the intelligentsia in the teaching profession by offering attractive scales and adequate financial support for academic pursuits to teachers. Accordingly, Chadha Committee had recommended higher grade pay and academic allowance for university and college teachers. While the grade pay has been considerably reduced, the academic allowance has been totally done away with. The new nomenclature of Academic Grade Pay (AGP), obviously created by combining the concepts of higher grade pay and academic allowance, is only a camouflage for the reduction in the financial benefits recommended by Chadha Committee. AIFUCTO demands that the grade pay of 6600, 7200 and 11000 in respect of Assistant Professor, Assistant Professor (senior scale) and Professor respectively be restored. 

(7) The post of Associate Professor is the equivalent of Lecturer Selection Grade / Reader in the existing scale and therefore the stipulation that Selection Grade Lecturers /Readers should wait for three years for placement as Associate Professor is illogical and   unjust. Accordingly AIFUCTO demands that all Lecturers (Selection Grade)/ Readers as on 1.1.2006 be placed in the scale of pay of Associate Professor and re-designated as such.  AIFUCTO also demands that all Assistant Professors with PhD/ MPhil /without both, be given a grade pay of 7200 on completion of three years, four years and five years respectively. AIFUCTO demands that they shall further be placed in the grade pay of 8000 on  completion of three years in the grade pay of 7200.They should be promoted as Associate Professors on completion of three years in the grade pay of 8000. Promotion  to the post of Professor/ Professor in the grade pay of 12000  should also be available to all teachers under CAS , on completion of three years and six years as Associate Professor ,irrespective of whether they are serving in universities or colleges ,irrespective of whether they possess PhD or not. The restriction in the number of the posts of Professors to 10% of the posts of Associate Professors and of Professors in the grade pay of 12000 to 10% of the posts  of Professors is modelled on administrative services where there is a  hierarchical structure for sharing powers and responsibilities . This has no relevance to teachers, all of whom perform the same academic responsibilities. The imposition of the irrelevant criterion will only vitiate the academic atmosphere by encouraging favouritism which will have serious repercussions on the academic autonomy of the individual teacher, thereby seriously compromising the prospects of academic excellence.  AIFUCTO also demands that CAS Professors be treated on par with directly recruited Professors in the matter of pay fixation.

(8) An important issue over which Chadha Committee had made positive recommendation was in respect of rectifying the anomalies in the last pay revision, by recommending that all benefits in the previous scheme be implemented w.e.f. 1-1-1996. MHRD has glossed over the issue by stating that the UGC will examine the issue in consultation with MHRD. AIFUCTO demands that MHRD issue positive orders to the effect that all benefits including CAS in the previous scheme shall be implemented w.e.f. 1.1.96 and that all the arrears due in this respect will be paid in cash this year itself. 

(9) Chadha Committee had recommended the continuance of the Triple Benefit Scheme of GPF, Pension and Gratuity to teachers entering service after 1-1-2004. The GOI is requested to review the negative policy decision in this respect in view of the need to attract talented young men and women to the teaching profession by offering attractive conditions of service in comparison with that offered by corporate houses. The benefit of Pension should also be extended to senor teachers who are not presently covered by the scheme. The additional conditions sought to be imposed on young teachers for movement from one grade pay to the next, should also be abandoned. 

(10) The insistence that only PhD in the relevant discipline will alone count for CAS will certainly be used as a ruse to deny the benefit to many deserving teachers. More important is the serious repercussion on interdisciplinary studies and research. New knowledge is often created at the intersections of disciplines and any provision that discourages research in this area will defeat one of the most important functions of higher education, which is to generate new knowledge. AIFUCTO demands that this provision be deleted.  

(11) AIFUCTO demands that all vacant posts of teachers be immediately filled up and new posts created and filled up wherever required in accordance with XI Plan guidelines and Central assistance extended to all such posts filled up after 1.1.2006.

(12) Appropriate scales should be implemented for Part-time Teachers Tutors/Demonstrators/ Accompanists/Coaches

 (13) Pension benefits in the new pay scales should be extended to all Selection Grade Lecturers /Readers who have retired prior to 1-1-2006. 

(14) AIFUCTO demands that UGC take immediate steps for the issuance of the notification of pay revision in accordance with the above charter of demands and issue fitment table for all scales ensuring  that seniors get higher pay as compared with juniors with same qualifications. 

(15) AIFUCTO would take up further issues and anomalies with MHRD and UGC in due course

AIFUCTO recognizes that the fight for the rights of the teachers is not merely a fight for higher emoluments for five lakh Assistant Professors, Associate Professors and Professors; it is a fight for the millions of our countrymen as the future of the nation, as famously stated by Kothari, is shaped in the classrooms, more so in the context of the emerging knowledge economy. AIFUCTO demands that MHRD address the above issues with all the urgency and seriousness they deserve and modify the notification dated 31-12-08 in consultation with AIFUCTO within one month, failing which AIFUCTO would be constrained to resort to all agitational measures, including COUNTRY WIDE INDEFINITE STRIKE to press further for the just and right demands of the teachers and the people at large.

 

Thomas Joseph                                                                                                                   Asok Barman                                        

  President                                                                                                                        General Secretary   

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