Thursday, October 9, 2008

Diwali is likely to be brighter for teachers this year.

Arjun Singh today directed his team to finalise the proposed salary hikes for university and college teachers in time for Diwali, amid rumblings against parts of the scheme.

Government officials said Singh had asked human resource development ministry officials to complete inter-ministerial consultations on the pay hike “within 20 days”. Diwali is on October 28.

A University Grants Commission pay panel headed by G.K. Chadha, a member of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council, had last week recommended an average pay hike of 70 per cent for teachers.

The proposed hike will benefit over five lakh teachers across 6,000 colleges and some 300 universities. Sources said the Centre was keen to keep the community happy ahead of a slew of state polls and the 2009 general elections.

Singh’s directive, however, comes amid fears that trouble could be brewing as teachers’ unions have been protesting against some of the recommendations.

The Chadha committee has placed assistant professors (called lecturers now) in the same pay band as associate professors (called readers now). Angry readers have complained to the UGC and the HRD ministry that they cannot be placed in the same pay band as fresh lecturers.

The ministry also has its own concerns over the recommendations. Some officials said the finance ministry could object to the over 200 per cent hike in the salaries of vice-chancellors.

“The primary objective of the pay review is to attract young, talented teachers to the profession. They need to be paid well. High salaries for VCs aren’t required. Those interested would queue up anyway,” an official said.

The UGC has set up a three-member sub-committee to examine the Chadha committee report. This sub-committee is expected to submit its suggestions by Friday.

The HRD ministry will then submit its recommendations to other ministries such as finance, and the ministries of science and technology and health that run colleges and universities.

“The minister’s directive means this entire process needs to be completed by October 28,” an official said.

The pay hike can be implemented after it is approved by an inter-ministerial “empowered committee”.

Earlier, teachers across central universities had protested against the delay in submission of the Chadha committee report. The panel was supposed to submit its report on September 6, but did so only last week.

Source : The Telegraph

Rajasthan Govt raises maternity leave till six months

Implementing the sixth pay commission report, Rajasthan government on Thursday announced to raise the maternity leave benefit to its women employees from 135 days to 180 days.

The state has announced other benefits, including voluntary retirement scheme and promotions, for those employees completing 9, 18 and 27 years of their services, an official spokesman said here.

Source : PTI

The government also revised the housing allowances of the employees according to their revised pay scales.

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