January 4, 2022 4:22:49 am
Demanding implementation of UGC scales as per the 7th pay commission, the protesting teachers from the universities and colleges of Punjab and Chandigarh have now decided to intensify their stir against the Punjab government.
They have announced that a state-level protest march will be held on Tuesday (January 4) in Bathinda, the constituency of Finance Minister Manpreet Badal and on January 6, a similar protest march will be held outside the residence of Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi in Morinda.
The working of five state universities and around 200 colleges in Punjab and Chandigarh are on a complete standstill as the second phase of teachers’ strike — Education Bandh– which started on November 30, has been ongoing since more than a month now.
Teachers across five state universities of Punjab (Panjab University (Chandigarh), Punjabi University (Patiala), Guru Nanak Dev University (Amritsar), Punjab Agricultural University (Ludhiana) and Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (Ludhiana) and nearly 200 colleges (including government and colleges) in Punjab and UT Chandigarh, are on continuous strike demanding implementation of the revised UGC 7th Pay Commission scales. They say that the scales have been implemented across country except Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh.
In Punjab, they are protesting against the Charanjit Channi-led state Congress government for non-implementation of revised pay scales.
Addressing a press conference at PAU Ludhiana Monday, the Punjab Federation of University and College Teachers Organisation (PFUCTO) said that the Punjab government ‘should not deviate from UGC regulations’.
Accusing the state government of ‘making a mess of the higher education system’, the body representatives said, “The Punjab government that was earlier led by Captain Amarinder Singh and now Charanjit Singh Channi under pressure from private universities is taking all steps to destroy the edifice of public funded higher education in the state that has been built over the years. The state seems to be working as an agent of the private education mafia which exploits both the teachers and the students.”
Prof H S Kingra, president, PFUCTO, said that all these years they have been repeatedly trying to convince the government that it was under constitutional obligation to comply with central legislation as higher education is a subject on the concurrent list of the Constitution and the rules of the UGC have to be followed.
Dr Jagwant Singh, general secretary, PFUCTO, said that they have written to all vice-chancellors of the universities not to do anything contrary to their own statutes and UGC regulations by affiliating substandard government colleges as they will not qualify under Section 2 (f) of the UGC Act.
He claimed that as a consequence the students admitted to these colleges will not be entitled to even appear in the university exams.
PFUCTO has also written to the CM to ensure that no public money is spent on these colleges as these will not be recognised by the UGC unless the state government takes appropriate action on the UGC regulation dated July 18, 2018 and February 20, 2010.
The organisation said that their struggle has more to do with compliance of UGC regulations than for the pay scales as they are unwilling to accept delinking from UGC.
“Captain Amarinder Singh did not implement the UGC scales because of alleged differences with former higher education minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa at that time. Now, CM Channi is doing the same as the present Education Minister Pargat Singh is considered close to Navjot Singh Sidhu. CM Channi and Sidhu seem to be fighting their own battle for supremacy,” said PFUCTO.
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