On UGC “clarification”
The DTF takes note of the correction (clarification) issued by the UGC on its website today that the existing Readers and Lecturers (Selection Grade) will not be subjected to another selection committee merely for getting the overdue revised pay. This issue was already settled when the Government of India withdrew its similar ridiculous proposal a day after it announced teachers’ pay revision on 17 December 2008.
Despite this inescapable correction, the draft UGC notification retains its perilously destructive potential so far as higher education is concerned. It would make the teaching profession even more unattractive. The introduction of additional conditionalities for promotion and recruitment is designed more to deny / delay promotion. The draft notification seeks to introduce at every stage the requirement of certain minimum scores for teachers’ performance in areas of teaching, extension, governance and research in specified number of years for upward movement apart from all the existing eligibility conditions. This irrational Performance Assessment Scoring System (PASS) seeks to quantify in a questionable manner the teaching-learning and research process by insisting on time-bound regimented production of knowledge. The UGC also seeks to undermine the academic autonomy of universities through its insistence on UGC experts in every selection committee for recruitment as well as promotion.
If the Government were genuinely interested in improving quality, it would have reduced the direct teaching load on teachers, whether in school or in higher education. It wants to ape an imposing caricatured version of some “international standard” to deny pay to teachers while simultaneously overburdening them with teaching / examination work and depriving them of necessary academic infrastructure. The Government made a caricature of its claim that it has given teachers higher entry pay than IAS as it downgraded teachers from the proposed GP of 6600 at entry to 6000 AGP and denied them the recommended Academic Allowance. Teachers have been given their first promotion to the next AGP after six years while the IAS gets it in four years along with two more increments. College teachers have also been denied promotion up to the AGP of 10000 while all IAS employees reach that level.
The DTF demands positive correction of the MHRD notification and rejects all attempts to bring in additional conditions to deny teachers promotional avenues. The DTF warns the UGC against any attempt to impose additional conditions such as minimum score under PASS on existing teachers as well as on those who are going to join the teaching profession in the future.