Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 18:
Protesting the lackadaisical attitude of the state government towards fulfilment of their long-standing demands, teachers of all universities in Odisha, under the banner of Federation of Odisha University Teachers’ Association (FOUTA), have decided to wear black badges from May 1.
Announcing this at a press briefing here on Friday, FOUTA convener and president of Utkal University Teachers’ Association Prof Santosh Tripathy said while the university teachers have repeatedly drawn the attention of the state government on their legitimate demands and the University Grants Commission (UGC) has specific guidelines on this, it has not paid any heed to fulfil their demands.
“While the retirement age of teachers of universities and other Central educational institutes in other states has been raised to 65 as per the UGC guidelines, the rules are yet to be implemented in Odisha. Besides, there has been no promotion of university teachers in Odisha under the Career Advance Scheme since December 31, 2008 as the state government has not issued a notification as per rule,” Tripathy alleged.
Referring to the change of designation of the teachers, he said while the UGC has recommended that all lecturers and readers in all universities should be designated as assistant professors and associate professors respectively, the state government is yet to bring out a notification in this regard.
“Besides, the state government has not fixed the revised UGC pay scale for university teachers in accordance with their eligibility and post,” he rued.
Stating that about 30 percent post of teachers are lying vacant in all universities in the state, Tripathy said the state government should make efforts to fill up the vacant posts before the commencement of 2015-16 academic session.
He said FOUTA had a meeting here on April 12 where it had decided to put pressure on the state government to fulfil its demands.
As decided in the meeting, FOUTA has urged all the universities to approve the proposal on implementation of UGC pay scales at the syndicate and send them to the government, he added.
“We have decided to go on a token strike from May 1 to May 7 by wearing black badges. We would take out a candle light rally from Ram Mandir Square to PMG Square on May 8. If the state government fails to meet our demands by May 14, the teachers of all universities would resort to a fast-unto-death at their respective institutions from May 15 to May 22 after which FOUTA would begin fast-unto-death at PMG Square from May 29. If the state government remains adamant after all this, we would resort to cease-work and start civil disobedience from June,” Tripathy informed.
The FOUTA members present at the press meet said the University teachers of Odisha have been badly let down as they are deprived of UGC benefits enjoyed by the university teachers of other states.
Among others, Prof B Parasar, Prof KM Sethi, Dr BC Mallick, Dr AK Senapati, Dr AK Patel, Dr J Panigrahi, Dr PK Satpathy and Dr PK Parida were present.