Issues before the Pay Review Committee
based on T Ravi Kumar & Vijender Sharma, ‘Pay Structure in Higher Education: Some Issues’ in EPW, April 19-25, 2008
The teaching community has to be vigilant about the fact that the 6th CPC’s recommendations (and the Chadha Committee report) are being presented in a situation where policies are being formulated favouring the market and the corporate sector. There has been very little distinction between the BJP and the Congress in respect of the lack of importance given to the higher education sector and the teaching community. For instance, the lack of parity existing between teachers and IAS/Group A is primarily the result of policies pursued by the MHRD and UGC between 1998 and 2000 (see figures overleaf).
Criticism of various 6th CPC recommendations
The recommendations for government personnel in respect of the pay structure do not adequately reflect:
- The tremendous rise of salaries in the private, especially the corporate sector, and
- The much touted expansion in the economy in terms of high rates of growth.
The teaching community has to guard against any distinction being sought to be brought about between
- (a) teachers in different disciplines on the grounds that some are market-oriented in terms of demand from the private sector/industry
- (b) college teachers and university teachers.
The parity we must argue for is ‘absolute’ parity in terms of not only monetary pay over the entire career span but also the monetary and non-monetary perquisites associated with the IAS/Group A services. In the absence of associated perquisites, the pay for teachers has to be higher than that of IAS/Group A services to attract and retain talent in the teaching profession.
The teaching community has to ensure that the delay in the implementation of the 6th CPC/CC recommendations does not lead to a situation where the recommendations
- are implemented from a later date
- get held-up totally due to the pending elections.
Some important issues:
- The fact that there is no attempt to calculate and determine new scales of pay independently results in an explicit linkage of the ‘new’ scales with the old. Hence any problem with the old pay structure (such as lack of parity) will automatically emerge in the ‘new’ pay structure unless specifically identified and remedied in the old pay structure before equivalence is determined in terms of fitment.
- Despite the oft-stated policy of commitment to parity between teachers and All-India/Group ‘A’ services, the gap has widened. The form in which the UGC recommendations of 1997 were operationalised by the MHRD in 1998, culminating in the withdrawal of professorship in 2000, finally pulled down the pay profile of teachers to a level which was at par with Group ‘B’ services instead.
Figure 1 notes:
The Rastogi Committee (RC) recommended Career Pay Profile (CPP) for teachers lies well below that of the IAS.
The revised CPP emerging from the UGC recommendations of 1997 (after the critique of the RC recommendations and mobilisation of the teaching community by the DUTA led by the DTF (Vijender Sharma President, Shaswati Mazumdar Secretary, Amar Deo Sharma Joint Secretary) did reduce the disparity with the IAS to a considerable degree.
Figure 2 notes:
·The UGC recommendations of 1997 were, however, not implemented. The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) modified these recommendations in 1998, substantially downgrading the pay structure of teachers. The CPPs for teachers, as originally recommended by the UGC and as later adapted by the MHRD, are compared in figure 2. As may be seen, the CPP (MHRD) lies well below that of CPP (UGC 1997).
·This divergence in pay structures was to be intensified further. On the sixth of October 2000, the UGC withdrew the career advancement scheme (CAS) for promotion of readers to professors for college teachers across the country without assigning any reason.