Press Release, 17.12.08

The DTF expresses grave concern over the MHRD announcement with regard to pay revision of university and college teachers.

After severe criticism of the downgrading of teachers in the proposals announced made by the MHRD in the Parliament on 16 December 2006, the Government has only conceded to placement of incumbent Readers in PB4 with a Grade Pay of 9000 after completion of three years of service as Reader. On the rest, the notification reiterates the Parliament announcement and further introduces additional conditions to be specified by the UGC for promotion.

The Government has only been forced its condemnation of the downgrading of the teaching profession by the Government in its announcement of revised pay scales for university and college teachers made in the Lok Sabha on 16 December 2008. Instead of improving on the Chaddha Pay Review Committee (PRC) recommendations, the Government has further downgraded teachers at all levels: Lecturer, Reader and Professor. Behind the false gesture of changing the designation to Assistant Professor and Associate Professor for Lecturer and Reader and naming Grade Pay as “Academic Grade Pay”, the teaching profession has been given a shocking deal.

Pay scales have been lowered at all levels, years required for promotion to Associate Professor (which is known worldwide as the equivalent of Reader) have been increased by 3 years, the demand for assured third promotion to professor’s grade has not been conceded and parity of Librarians with teachers has been denied with regard to retirement age.

Most shocking was clause (ix) in the Government’s announcement:

“Those who are presently working as Lecturer (Selection Grade) or Reader shall continue to be so designated till they are selected for the post of Associate Professor.”

As a result of immediate sharp criticism of this humiliating clause, the Government has today modified it as follows:

“Those who are presently working as Lecturer or Reader shall continue to be so designated till they become eligible for the post of Associate Professor.”

Even in its modified form the clause replaces selection with eligibility. The apprehension remains that this may mean denial of automatic placement as Associate Professor to many Readers and Lecturer (Selection Grade).

The DTF demands an explicit clarification from the Government in this regard. Placing all Readers and Lecturers (Selection Grade) in Pay Band 4 is a major demand for a just pay revision. However, the downgrading of teachers at every other level and the denial of promotion to professor’s grade in colleges amounts to a severe downgrading of the entire teaching profession.

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