Monday, September 22, 2008

Panel to recommend 65 as retirement age for teachers

The Pay Review Committee constituted by the University Grants Commission to review the pay scales of university and college teachers is planning to recommend 65 as the uniform age for retirement across the country.

“The question of invoking a uniform policy about the age of retirement and re-employment of teachers was one of the key issues before us. The retirement age is disparate in different States ranging from 55 to 70. In our report, we will be stressing that there needs to be a uniform age for retirement, which according to us should be 65,” said Committee chairman G.K. Chadha at a press conference on Sunday.

Prof. Chadha was sharing with the media some of the issues related to teachers’ pay, service and working conditions that the Committee has been looking into.

Refusing to give any timeframe as to when the Committee will submit its report to the UGC, he, however, assured its recommendations would give teachers “a very decent deal”.

“We will start writing the report next week. But we can’t estimate the time. Some of the issues that we are dealing with are new and innovative. The possibility of granting additional incentives at the entry level, some kind of academic allowance for working in remote and inaccessible areas are under active consideration,” Prof. Chadha informed.

“We will emphasise that January 1, 2006, should be the date from which the recommendations should be implemented throughout the country. We also looked at how to extend better financial and other incentives to attract and retain talent in the field of teaching. We examined the existing infrastructure and support facilities for research,” he added.

Another committee member Manimala Das spoke on the issue of workload and academic accountability of teachers.“We feel the teachers should have reasonable workload. Since the pay packages will be so good, there should not be any complaint. We are also looking at what kind of criteria need to be evolved for effective and transparent assessment of teachers’ work,” she said. The committee members also highlighted some crucial areas on which consensus was yet to emerge.

“There is one issue of layers at the university and college level. Whether we should extend layers in terms of promotion avenues or go with the existing arrangement,” Prof. Chadha explained. UGC secretary R.K. Chauhan said once the committee submitted its report, the commission will give its recommendations to the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development within next 15 days to get it implemented at the earliest.

Source : The Hindu.

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