The Vice-Chancellor, Panjab University, Chandigarh, Prof. R C Sobti was requested to apprise the Chief Minister and Education Minister, Govt. of Punjab regarding the plight of the higher education institutions of the state, as promised by him in the budget meeting of the senate held on 31.03.2012.
Dr. P.S. Gill, in the discussion in the senate had requested the Vice-Chancellor to use his good office to convince the Punjab Govt. to fill the teaching posts lying vacant for the last several years. He was supported by several other members including Principals Gurdeep Sharma, Janmit Singh and teacher leaders Iqbal Sandhu, Kuldeep Singh, Mukesh Arora, Dinesh Talwar and R P Josh among others.
Responding to the request the Vice-Chancellor had said,” I shall write to the Punjab Government in this regard and will also meet the Hon’ble Chief Minister, Punjab and Education Minister, Punjab, along with Dean, College Development Council to apprise them of the facts of the matter.”
It may be added that there is an undeclared ban on the recruitment of teachers against grant-in-aid posts in Punjab Colleges and thousands of posts are lying vacant and are being run with ad hoc arrangements.
The security of service has been erroneously amended by including a new sub-clause 6(iv) to the 1974 act,
‘6(iv) to an employee who is not working on an aided post.’
to exclude teachers working against un-aided posts, out of the security provisions of the act. This clause needs to be amended immediately.
In the govt. colleges also situation is pitiable and a large number student financed courses are being taught by guest faculty and grossly underpaid contract teachers. Denial of UGC scales is a rule rather than an exception. More than one thousand teaching posts are lying vacant in state run colleges. Some of the rural govt. colleges are run entirely by unqualified staff.
The teachers working against so called self-financed courses are worst sufferers, they are under paid, relieved in February/March, no CPF is deducted, university leave rules are not followed, their service is not counted for promotion due to break in service.
In the colleges clearing UGC NET is a necessary condition for appointment to a teaching post and Ph.D. are exempted from it, however, in subjects like Computer Science qualified teachers are not available. Last year only one candidate qualified UGC NET in Computer Science. In Engineering Colleges M Tech with first class is eligible to teach 4-Year degree professional courses, but not for 3-Year degree non-professional courses. This has created a preposterous situation, MSc/BCA classes are being run in the colleges, more sections are added every second/third year , are taught by grossly underpaid totally unsecure teachers appointed on ad hoc basis never to be regularized. Mostly these courses are run under self-finance scheme (a glossy name for parent-financed courses), students are over charged and students are under paid. The Vice-chancellor was requested to look into the plight of these teachers and take up their case with the UGC for relaxation in NET qualification so that these appointments get duly approved and teachers get their full salary and other benefits.
The letter was signed by Principal R S Jhanji, Principal N S Sidhu and Prof Rabinder Sharma, fellows of the university.
Dr Gill, Fellow, Panjab University, Chandigarh, also appealed to the Chief Minister, Punjab to look into the plight of employees of the college in the state and clear all the impediments in the path of economic development of the state which cannot be swifter than the speed of development in education.
Dr P S Gill
Sri Guru Gobind Singh College
As the Vice-Chancellor of Panjab University, the mother university in North India, a role model for the academia and therefore, you are listened to by the political leaders of the region. On behalf of the teachers of affiliated colleges of the university we wish to bring the following problems faced by these colleges that need immediate redress:
1. Ban on posts: Since 2004-05 there is an undeclared blanket ban on recruitment against all the aided posts and the vacant aided posts created by superannuation of teachers remain unfilled as new recruitment against these is not allowed. Thousands of posts are lying vacant, and the ad hoc arrangements are made up merely by “hiring” not by appointing (mostly under qualified) guest faculty. These grant-in-aid posts were to be reviewed after every 10 years after its implementation in 1981 and to update these on the increased/decreased student strength.
2. Security of service: The state government by a misplaced amendment has deprived the teachers working against the non grant-in-aid posts or those working against student financed schemes, have been deprived of the benefit Security of Service by way of an amendment in the act. These teachers are the unfortunate lot because they are underpaid, are relieved in the vacation, deprived of usual leaves and when they protest against this exploitation are unceremoniously shown the door. The provisions in the security of service must be restored to extend the coverage to uncovered categories. A separate note on this issue is attached as Appendix (i).
3. Refresher courses: All the teachers are required to attend refresher/orientation courses for their promotion under CAS. The teachers fail to attend these courses for many reasons, including non-availability of the course in their subject, not being successful in getting relieved from their institutes, etc. The UGC has relaxed the condition of refresher courses for promotions up to December, 2011. Whereas the DPI(C), Punjab has endorsed the relaxation up to 2005 for government colleges and the relaxation for teachers of Aided Colleges has been allowed only till 2001. Due to this delay in relaxation many teachers are being deprived of their promotions. Some of these teachers who will be promoted as Associated Professor are suffering a loss of Rs. 25000 in their basic pay. Their plight may be ameliorated by endorsing UGC letter relaxing the condition of attending refresher/orientation courses till December 31, 2011.
4. Pension and retirement benefits: Thousands of teachers in the non-government colleges are retiring without any retirement benefits, like gratuity and leave encashment, owing to the poor financial position of these colleges. Pension Scheme adopted in the Punjab Assembly in 1999, got assent of the Hon’ble Governor, Punjab, is yet to be implemented. The state government should implement the act in its true spirit and help the aged retired teachers.
5. Under payment of salary: The problem of under payment of salary in the state colleges has reached monstrous proportions. What to talk of giving the benefit of revised UGC scales, teachers are not paid even basic pay of Rs.21600. In some of these colleges, teachers with more than 20 years of service are paid only around Rs. 20-30 thousands even in cash-rich colleges and we fear fresh teachers may be getting as low as five/six thousand rupees. You are requested to send surprise inspection teams to ameliorate the plight of these teachers and take necessary action against those responsible for this to task.
6. Arrears of revised scales: While the employees in whole of the country and even the teachers of UT, Chandigarh have got the arrears of the revised Scales, the teachers in Punjab have not been given the arrears of revised UGC scales adopted in 2008. 80% of these arrears are to be paid by MHRD, Govt. of India for which the state has not even submitted its claims properly. Teachers are loosing lakhs of rupees on account of interest on these arrears every year. Kindly take up this grievance of the teachers(covered/uncovered/contract/temporary/ad hoc) in Govt. and Non-Govt. colleges, with the Government of Punjab.
Sir, the college teachers are a suffering because of the lack of any working grievance removal mechanism in the state, therefore, we request you to approach the Punjab Government, you had assured us in the senate, on our behalf to help us contribute in academic development of the state.
(Security of Service of Employees) Act ,1974
The Security of Service Act for the employees of the Punjab affiliated Colleges was notified on September 12, 1974. It was amended by Punjab Act 25 of 1975 and then by Punjab Act 6 of 1983. Under this act rules called as the Punjab Affiliated College Rules, 1978 were notified on 23.6.1978. Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in CWP No. 317 of 1993 and other connected petitions ( TMA Pai Foundation Vs State of Karnatka) had directed on 31.10.2002 to create educational tribunal for speedy redressal of the grievances of employees of aided and unaided institutions, who are subjected to punishment or termination from service.
Section 6 of the Original Act is reproduced as under:
Sections 3, 4 & 5 not to apply in certain cases. – The provisions of sections 3, 4 and 5 shall not apply.
i) to the termination of service of any 1(employee) who is appointed for a temporary period only;
ii) to the termination of service of any 2(employee) appointed on probation, during or at the end of the period of probations, on account of his work or conduct being unsatisfactory; and
iii) to an 3(employee) who is dismissed or removed or reduced in rank on the ground of conduct which has led to his conviction on a criminal charge.
However, the act has been further amended and in section 6 point (iv) has been added namely
(iv) to an employee who is not working on an aided post.
It is in contradiction with the aim and objectives of the Judgement delivered by the Hon’ble Supreme Court.
Moreover, Punjab Govt. has notified an act relating to private health educational institutions on 16.3.2006 where private institution has been defined as
Private institution means an institution not established and administered by Central or State Govt. or a local body and it includes an aided or unaided or minority institution.
Hence it is requested that point no. iv added to Section 6 of the original act to be deleted immediately.