Young Bangalore teachers angry as old hands get 3 years extra
The high court’s directive to increase the retirement age of college teachers from 60 to 65 years in the state has resulted in a war cry from the young lecturers as they now have to wait for five years to get into higher salary slots.
Teachers airing their resentment felt that the UGC regulations were violated as 80% of the teachers who have been brought under the UGC scales in 1992 and 1998 have no qualification except a Master’s degree, while the UGC stipulations demand that they should have passed the National Eligibility Test (NET), State-Level Eligibility Test (SLET) or should possess a PhD. But only 20% of the 436 teachers have passed the SLET or NET and only a few are PhDs. The high court directive raising the superannuation of teachers from 60-65 will deprive the young teachers who have passed the UGC’s stipulation examinations of their legitimate lateral ascension.
Sources in the Federation of University College Teachers’ Associations Karnataka (FUCTAK) said, “The UGC-stipulated standards of teaching profession can be assured only through the NET. It is tough to pass the qualifying exams and only those teachers who have passed the exams are fit to teach degree students. But the older teachers clinging on to the profession with a knowledge base of 30 years have become a stumbling block in the way of the new generation of teachers.”
A teacher who has passed the NET said, “I am drawing a salary at least 50% lesser than a teacher who is not qualified. There are hundreds like me who are feeling frustrated despite being qualified as per the UGC guidelines.”
Usha Ravi of Mysore University who cleared the NET in 2010 and is working on her PhD said, “Our students in the higher education have been deprived of the benefits of new knowledge and new skills of knowledge delivery. At this point, the government should go in for an appeal against the directive,” she said.
If an old-time lecturer wants to prefix a ‘professor’ tag before his name, he should have guided at least one PhD scholar and should be a PhD himself and should have worked for more than 10 years.The universities and government colleges were scrupulously following this norm but, in aided colleges, old teachers are prefixing ‘professor’ to their names freely. “There is a stipulated ratio of assistant professors andassociate professors working under a person who could be designated as professor in each set up, including university colleges, government colleges and aided colleges,” clarified officials at Mangalore University.
“Under the present condition, the ideal age for superannuation is 62 in universities and 60 in government and aided colleges. But the state government has made it 62 in some colleges and 65 in some others. The government cannot implement the UGC regulations on a piece-meal basis,” said general secretary TM Manjunath of Karnataka State Government College Teachers’ Association (KSGCTA).
An endorsement by the state government on June 14, 1998 available exclusively to DNA clearly stipulates that college lecturers should have a minimum of 55% in their chosen post-graduate course and passed NET and SLET. If they do not possess these qualifications, they should try and complete the NET and SLET within a period of three years. But the proceedings issued by the state government on May 22, 2009 have cleverly masked the endorsement issued on giving rise to suspicion of foul play, said RTI activists.
Source: DNA India