Chandigarh 13 May : The Executive Committee of Punjab Federation of University and College Teachers Organisations (PFUCTO) met today at Panjab University to review the implementation of MHRD Notification, dated 31-12-2008 by the Government of Punjab regarding Sixth Pay Commission. The meeting was chaired by Manjit Singh, President PFUCTO. In the meeting the recent letter of MHRD, Government of India, dated 11 May, 2010, issued to all the state governments regarding reimbursement of 80 % share of additional burden of salaries by the government of India under its notification was discussed. PFUCTO welcomed the letter which states that, “as per the terms and conditions of the Ministry letter dated 31-12-2008, the state governments are required to implement the Scheme as a composite one, including the age of superannuation (mentioned in para 8(f) of this Ministry’s letter dated 31-12-2008…..”. The meeting also welcomed the directions of Punjab and Haryana High Court issued on May 6, 2010 while hearing the writ petitions of teachers seeking enhancement of retirement age as per para 8(f) of MHRD Notification directing, “the Principal Secretary to the Government of Punjab, Department of Higher Education to put up the matter before the competent authority under the rules of the business of the state and ensure that a final decision in this regard is taken as early as possible but not later than two months from the date of receipt of this order”.
In a joint statement Dr Manjit Singh and Dr Jagwant Singh, President and General Secretary of PFUCTO appealed to the government of Punjab to take a favourable decision to enhance the retirement age of teachers working in the universities and colleges of the state and bring it at par with central universities and institutions. They said that government of Punjab should realize that it needs to take this decision to create a level playing field for the state universities that will be placed at great disadvantage vis-à-vis central universities, private universities and foreign universities in attracting and retaining talented teachers. An acute shortage of qualified teachers in the institutes of higher learning need to be met by making regular recruitments and enhancing retirement age, they said. It is worth reiterating that nearly half of the sanctioned posts in the institutes of higher learning are lying vacant and students are suffering for want of teachers. It shows the hollowness of the claim of the Punjab government that enhancement of retirement age of teachers would block the employment of younger generation. In the meeting it was also highlighted that how it is cost effective to let the existing teachers to continue to teach up to the age of 65 and why the fund starved government of Punjab does not pay heed to the demand of the teaching community.
It is worth reminding that PFUCTO is an apex body of all the teacher organizations from the institutes of higher learning in Punjab and Chandigarh and elected representatives of the universities and college organizations constitute the Executive of PFUCTO.