Leaflet, 27.4.98

Arbitrary and Malafide Decision. Central Government announces humiliating Pay Scales and Service Conditions for university and college teachers

1. The pay provisions released by the Minister for HRD on behalf of the Central Govt. on 25.4.98 are a slap in the face of the teaching community and spell disaster for the future of higher education. While taking its decision, the Government has arbitrarily bypassed the recommendations of the UGC which is the statutory body authorised to make these recommendations. The Government has given no reason for bypassing the UGC recommendations.

2. Instead of taking its decision within the framework of the UGC recommendations, the Government has chosen as its basis the Rastogi Committee’s recommendations which were rejected by the teaching community in June 1997 and subsequently drastically revised by the UGC. The Rastogi Committee’s recommendations had downgraded teachers even below the level of the Group B Civil Services. The Government’s decision further accentuates this downgrading.

3. The UGC recommendations accepted the principle of parity with the IAS – a principle insisted upon by successive education and pay revision committees – as essential to attract and retain talent in the teaching profession. The UGC recommendations stated that “While the teachers are equally competent and are far more qualified in terms of academic degrees, their salaries compare unfavourably with those of the IAS, especially as they move up the scale”. The UGC further emphasized that with “a mere replacement of scales as suggested by the Rastogi Committee, the disparity between the two (the teaching profession and the IAS) would have widened in their repective career advancement”. Consequently, the UGC recommended better pay scales with a higher starting salary of Rs. 10,000 “because (a) teachers lose several years before starting their career; (b) they have higher qualifications at the start of their careers, and (c) teaching needs to attract the best talent for higher education because the quality of graduates they produce depends on the teachers…”

The Government has cynically ignored the UGC’s irrefutable logic for better pay scales and has opted for the lower pay scales which were rejected by the UGC.

4. In keeping with the principle of parity with the IAS, i.e. in order to ensure upward mobility on par with the IAS, the UGC accepted “the principle of at least 3 promotions in a life-time” (implemented under the Vth Pay Commission recommendations for all Central Government employees) for all teachers in departments and colleges : from Lecturer to Senior Lecturer, from Senior Lecturer to Reader/Selection Grade, and from Reader/Selection Grade to Professor. The UGC further recommended that promotion to Professor “will be after 5 years in the respective positions of Readers/Selection Grade”.

The Government has negated the principle of 3 promotions in a life-time up to Professor; instead the Government has introduced a quota-based position of Senior Reader which would only be open to 20% of all Readers (i.e. those with Ph.D.s) with eligibility to be decided by the UGC, and it has ordered that only the few Senior Readers would be eligible for promotion to Professor. While the UGC had recommended promotion up to Professor in the scale Rs. 18,400-24,500 for all teachers in colleges and departments, the Government has stipulated stagnation of over 90% of teachers in the Reader’s Grade of Rs.12,000-18000.

5. The UGC recommended “point-to-point” fixation of salaries for teachers “in place of the formula given by the Government on the recommendations of the Fifth Pay Commission, since the scales were fewer and long which resulted in senior persons losing their position to juniors, thus severely affecting their seniority in the pay scale”.

The Government’s announcement on 25.4.98 maintains silence on pay fixation.

6. The UGC recommended that “Income-tax exemption up to 100 per cent may be provided on the amount spent for becoming members of Professional Councils, purchase of books, subscription to journals, for registration in seminars/conferences and for E-Mail facilities”. However, if this was not possible, the UGC insisted on a professional allowance “on par with teachers in the IITs”. The UGC recognized that “Teachers do not enjoy many of the perquisites of the civil service or Group “A” staff in the Governments of the Centre and the States. The above inputs in their professional development, while seeming to be alternative perquisites, are also in the nature of quality improvement in education.”

The Government’s announcement maintains silence on any facilities for professional development.

7. The UGC recommended for teachers various other allowances extended to Central Govt employees, including DA, CCA, HRA, transport allowance, medical benefits (including life-time coverage), etc.

The Government’s announcement maintains silence on all these allowances and facilities.

8. The UGC recommended that “each university should work out its own code of professional ethics and it should include all the groups in the university system, namely, teachers, Group A administrative staff and vice-chancellor, and non-teaching staff”.

The Government’s announcement betrays its disdain for university autonomy and its disinclination to include principals and vice-chancellors in any code of ethics. It opts instead for bureaucratic regulation by entrusting to a UGC Committee the task of evolving a code of conduct and service conditions. Significantly, the same Committee would be asked to look into specific difficulties being experienced by College Principals…”, i.e. to ensure further strenthening of the powers of principals.

9.  The UGC had recommended promotion up to Professor in the scale Rs. 18,400-24,500 for all teachers in colleges and departments.

The Government has stipulated stagnation of 80% of Readers and 100% of Selection Grade teachers in the Grade of Rs.12,000-18000.

The Government has claimed that its decision reflects the “desire for improving academic standards in Universities and Colleges”, and for making “the teaching profession in the higher education field more attractive”. The truth is that the Government decision is anti-academic because it widens the disparity between the Civil Services and teachers and would drive away talent from the teaching profession; it is anti-democratic because it negates the entire struggle waged by teachers against the Rastogi Committee recommendations; it is arbitrary in bypassing the UGC recommendations; and it is bureaucratic in its negation of university autonomy and in its efforts to enhance the powers of the authorities.

We reject the Government’s pay announcement. We demand the implementation of the UGC pay scales and of the positive UGC recommendations on promotion, pay fixation, professional allowances and other entitlements.

Comparison of UGC Recommendations and Government Decision

Lecturer

Rs.10000-325-15200

4 yrs with PhD, 5 yrs with MPhil, 6 yrs for others

Rs. 8000-275-13500

4 yrs with PhD, 5 yrs with MPhil, 6 yrs for others

Senior Lecturer

Rs.12000-375-165006 yrs as Senior LecturerPhD necessary for Reader Rs.10,000-325-15,2005 yrs as Senior LecturerPhD necessary for Reader

Reader/Selection Grade

Rs.14300-400-18300 Rs.12000-375-18000

No further promotion for 80% of Readers and 100% of Selection Grade teachers

5 yrs as Reader (a maximum of 20% of Readers

Senior Reader

NA5 yrs as Reader/Selection Grade Lecturer Rs.14300-400-18300

5 yrs as Senior Reader

Professor

Rs.18400-500-22400-525-24500

No minimum time span

(maximum 20% of Professors)

Rs.16400-450-20000

5 yrs as Professor

not more than 10% at any time

Senior Professor

Rs.24050-650-26000 Rs.18400-500-22400

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