August 23, 2012 5:23:18 am
In a relief to teachers,the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has issued a letter to all state governments,stating that it has now decided to de-link the condition of increasing the retirement age of teachers and payment of the Centres share of arrears to the states,based on Sixth Pay Commission recommendations.
Several teachers said state governments will no longer be able to use the age condition as a tool for non-payment of arrears. In Maharashtra,the retirement age of university and college teachers was raised to 62 earlier this year,subject to strict norms and conditions.
Bearing in mind that the question of enhancement of age of retirement is exclusively within the domain of the policy making power of the state governments,the issue of age of retirement has been left to the state governments to decide at their level. The condition of enhancement of age of superannuation to 65 years as mentioned in this Ministrys letter dated 31/12/2008 may be treated as withdrawn,for the purpose of seeking reimbursement of central share of arrears to be paid to state university and college teachers, says MHRDs letter issued in August 2012.
For payment of arrears of the Sixth Pay Commission,the Centre had decided to provide financial assistance by reimbursing 80 per cent of the arrears for the period from January 1,2006 to March 31,2010 and the state governments were to provide 20 per cent of the arrears from its own resources.
This was subject to fulfilling certain conditions,including enhancing the retirement age of teachers to 65 years. However,according to the latest decision,the Ministry will no longer insist on increasing the age to 65 years.
As per the current letter,reimbursement of 80 per cent of central share for the four-year period will be made by the Centre in two to three installments. However,this would be by way of reimbursement only,after the state government has made the payment, says the letter.
Stating inordinate delay in payment of arrears to the teachers,the All India Federation of University & College Teachers Organisations (AIFUCTO) had also written to the Centre asking it to remove the age condition.
The AIFUCTO had earlier written to the Ministry on this matter as several states were using the clause of superannuation as a tool to deprive teachers of their rightful arrears. While de-linking the retirement age will finally translate into payment by state governments,universities and colleges will be simultaneously hit hard by discrepancies in retirement age of teachers. Also,various teaching posts,which are currently lying vacant,may not get filled. According to state government data,there are over 17,000 teaching post vacancies in Maharashtra alone, said C R Sadasivan,member of executive committee of AIFUCTO and president of Bombay University and College Teachers Union.