Wednesday, August 4, 2010

No hope of state teacher's retirement age extension, HRD backs out

Teachers at state universities across the country may continue to retire before their counterparts in central universities, with the HRD backtracking from its demand for parity in exchange for fund support to states. The HRD ministry has asked the finance ministry to relax a norm requiring states to raise the retirement age of teachers to 65, to receive financial aid in paying hiked salaries,according to top government sources .
The decision to backtrack effectively ends hopes of state governments hiking their teacher retirement age.
State governments have repeatedly petitioned the HRD ministry to de-link financial support for payment of teacher salaries, from a hike in retirement ages.
No hike in the retirement age of teachers also means state universities lose out a key tactic to reduce their crippling faculty shortage. Several state universities have almost 70 per cent vacancies in teaching posts, according to University Grants Commission estimates.
Teachers retire at different ages in different states. The retirement age of central university teachers was hiked to 65 from 62 in 2008, the raise aimed at limiting the shortage of faculty.
The ministry on December 31, 2008 declared it would help states pay for an unprecedented hike in salaries of teachers, compensating as much 80 per cent of the hike for a few years.
But the ministry placed a caveat. States must accept new qualification requirements for teachers prepared by the UGC, and hike the retirement age to 65, to receive central funds.
“Our aim was simple. State universities face an even greater faculty crunch than central universities. A hike in retirement age would help them,” a source said.
But states have since then protested against the condition of a retirement age hike in exchange for funds for salaries.
Source : Hindustan Times.

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