Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, July 5:
Teachers of All Universities of Odisha (TAUO) today appealed to the Odisha Government to raise their retirement age from 60 years to 65 years as recommended by the University Grant Commission (UGC).
In a press conference held at Farmers Hostel of the Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) here, Dr Bibudha Parashar, president of TAUO said their demand for the raise of their retirement age limit gained momentum after the state government enhanced retirement age of government employees with effect from June 30 this year.
The Teachers’ representatives from Utkal, Berhampur, Sambalpur, Fakir Mohan, North-Odisha, Utkal University of Culture, Sri Jagannath Sanskrit University, Vira Surendra Sai University of Technology and OUAT expressed their concern over the partial implementation of Revised Pay Packages, 2006 for University teachers of Odisha which has not only deprived them of their legitimate benefits recommended by Ministry of Human Resources and Development (MHRD), UGC, ICAR and AICTE but also subjected them to discrimination when compared with their counterparts elsewhere in the country.
Parashar further said a candidate was appointed as a University teacher at an age of 35 years after acquiring PhD and qualifying in the NET examinations. Thus the service tenure of a university teacher gets squeezed when he/she retires at the age of 60 years. As such, there is a loss of expertise and experienced manpower because of the early retirement of teachers whose service could have been utilized for a relatively longer period of time.
The retired professors migrate either to NITs and IITs and move to others states like Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Bihar and Assam where the enhancement of age of superannuation from 60 to 65 to ensure better standards in higher education is in vogue, said Prof Pratap Rath from Utkal University. Odisha Government is yet to follow the trend as a result of which there is a terribel shortage of good and experienced teachers in all universities in Odisha. This is affecting the quality of higher education in the state, he said.
Regarding teachers’ crunch in state, Prof Rath said every year a number of teachers in the universities retire but the state government does little to fill up the vacancies.
The University teachers also demanded the implementation of Career Advancement Scheme (CAS) at the earliest.
“We demand the earliest possible implementation of MHRD recommendations in toto to restore natural justice for university teachers. Earlier we had submitted memorandum to concerned ministers and also to chief secretary but no step has yet been taken. If the government fails to fulfill our long standing demands, a delegation of TAUO would meet chief minister Naveen Patnaik on August 15 to draw his personal attention to the longstanding issues,” Parashar added.