National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued notices to the authorities in Centre and Jharkhand over reported non-payment of retirement benefits to several retired university professors in the tribal state.
The Commission has taken suo motu cognizance of a media report alleging that retirement benefits and pensions of several retired teachers of various universities in Jharkhand have not been paid for long and the Jharkhand varsities and University Grants Commission (UGC) appeared to be insensitive to the need of teachers in crises.
“The contents of the media report, if true, raise a serious issue of non-release of retirement and pensioner benefits impinging upon human rights to life, liberty, dignity and healthcare of retired professors of colleges in Jharkhand,” observed the Commission.
The notices have been issued to the Secretary in Union Ministry of Human Resource Development; UGC Chairman; Secretary (Department of Health) Government of Jharkhand and Vice-Chancellor Sidhu Kanho Murmu University (SKMU) in Dumka, Jharkhand.
The Commission has sought a report in the matter within two weeks.
According to the media report, 70-year-old Roopnarayan Falhari, a former professor at Deoghar College, who had retired in 2009, died on December 22 last, due to the lack of financial support for better medical treatment.
It was reported that his retirement arrears worth Rs 20 lakh were pending with the SKMU varsity.
The deceased was suffering from brain hemorrhage and got admitted to Guru Nanak Hospital in Ranchi on December 12. He could not be shifted elsewhere for better medical care, despite the recommendation of the doctor, on account of financial crunch.
Reportedly, several retired university teachers and their families are crying hoarse over the alleged apathy of the varsities and the University Grants Commission.
Further, the Federation of University Teachers’ Association of Jharkhand had claimed that at least ten retired professors in Jharkhand have died due to lack of funds for better treatment.
It has also been claimed that a number of retired professors were suffering from critical illness.