Academics call MHRD 7th PRC notification retrograding; demand review
Abhay Anand, 07 Nov 2017

A large section of university and college teachers are disgruntled with the 7th Pay Commission notification issued by the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), with a section even calling it a breach of authority by some Ministry officials about the Cabinet decision.

The Union Cabinet in its meeting held in October this year had announced the implementation of 7th Pay Commission for the academic community. As per the revised structure by the Cabinet, the approved pay scales would be applicable from January 1, 2016. The decision is likely to benefit 7.58 lakh teachers and equivalent academic staff in the 106 Universities/ Colleges which are funded by the UGC/ MHRD and also 329 Universities which are funded by State Governments and 12,912 Government and Private aided colleges affiliated to State Public Universities. However, the teaching community had raised their doubt then also as what is going to be the share of state governments is was not clearly stated in the statement.

The MHRD, on November 2 came up with notification thus bringing gross disappointment for the faculty across the country.

The All India Federation of University and College Teachers (AIFUCTO) has come out strongly against the MHRD notification. It said, “This has belied the hopes and aspirations of lakhs of University and College teachers of the country, putting the sincerity and commitment of the central government to higher education into the dock. The Official Press Statement issued on October 11, 2017, by MHRD has conveyed the Cabinet decision to approve revised pay scales of teachers and equivalent academic staff in Universities/Colleges & centrally. Shockingly, the MHRD notification on Scheme of revision of pay of teachers issued on November 2, 2017 contradicts crucial clauses of the Cabinet decision. No functionary of MHRD has the authority to modify Cabinet decisions.”

The major issue with the MHRD notification is the provision under which financial assistance from the Central Government to State Governments opting to revise pay scales of teachers shall be limited, by way of reimbursement, to the extent of 50% (fifty percent) of the additional expenditure involved in the implementation of the pay revision. Thus academics are questioning the motive behind such provision as for long they have been demanding for 100 per cent central assistance, the teacher's associations aid, “the central government very callously and carelessly has declared only 50% central assistance to the states, that too, only for 39 months, from January 1, 2016 to March 31, 2019. The shifting of the financial burden to the states is a well-calculated design and conspiracy to deny the revised UGC Scales of pay to the majority of the University and college teachers who serve under state universities. Many states may not implement the 7th UGC Pay Scales due to reduced central assistance.”

AIFUCTO has also criticised the suggestion of denial of incentives for M.Phil and Ph.D. both at the entry point and during service years. It said, “This reflects the extreme insensitivity of the central government towards the hard work and challenges faced by researchers in the country in getting these degrees, thereby reducing the dignity and devaluing the significance of these prestigious degrees.”

Dr. Aditya Narayan Misra Academics for Action & Development (AAD) said, “The withdrawal of advance increments and in-service increments for M.Phil. and Ph.D. is highly retrograde academically. Generally, a teacher joins with higher degrees, for which she works hard for years. This withdrawal discourages teachers to go for higher qualification and research. Presently many of our ad-hoc teachers are working with higher qualification and will loose even after they become permanent.”

As per Para 15, service conditions on new recruitments and promotions have been put to suspended animation. Academicians have apprehensions that this is going to put permanent appointment and promotions in jeopardy.

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