Amritsar, January 17
Lending support to the call of private, aided and non-aided colleges to boycott examination work and shut down colleges on January 18, teachers’ unions, PFUCTO and GNDUTA, will also be observing strike for a day.
Announcing their support to the colleges against lowering the retirement age by the state government, GNDUTA president Dr Lakhwider Singh said the decision was not holistic and the government must reconsider it.
“The conditions of service of teachers of universities and non-government colleges are part of the respective University Acts right from the inception of the universities. These specify that the age of retirement of teachers and the non-teaching staff is 60 years.
“The respective University Acts, being the acts of the Legislature, cannot be tinkered with by executive misadventures, and by misreading the spirit of the notification, which remains the adoption of UGC pay-scales. Also, the universities of the state have already adopted UGC Regulations, 2018, the notification only limits the adoption to ‘direct recruitment of teachers’. It creates a situation where the state and its universities are in a contradictory position,” he stated.
Importantly, the API system in promotions and appointments that has been recommended by the UGC Regulations 2018 will continue to be followed in Punjab, whereas it has come to an end in other states. The call for strike has already affected the conduct of examinations scheduled for January 18. Currently, colleges under GNDU have deferred theory and other exams scheduled for January 18, but the issue might have an impact on the exam schedule as aided colleges have announced indefinite strike if the matter is not resolved at the earliest. The Research Scholars’ Union, GNDU, also lent their support to the strike. Government college teachers will support the call. The Government College Teachers’ Association will also sit on a dharna and shun exam duty on January 18 in support of the non-aided, aided colleges and teachers’ associations.
Prof Dr Jaidep Singh Dhillon, senior vice-president, GCTA, and district head, said, “The age of retirement should not be lowered as the UGC has recommended increasing the retirement age of teachers to 65 years after much thought. Teachers get jobs late after completing all the degrees and academic qualifications required for the job, so the time of service is lesser in comparison to other government jobs. Also, the nature and responsibility of our job is different and teachers can give their best output at a ripened age. In developed societies, policies are guided by teachers and here, opposite is happening. The government should take a holistic approach,” said Prof Dhillon.
The call for strike has already affected the conduct of examinations scheduled for January 18. Currently, colleges under GNDU have deferred theory and other exams scheduled for January 18, but the issue might have an impact on the exam schedule as aided colleges have announced indefinite strike if the matter is not resolved at the earliest.