NEW DELHI: Soon, an entry level university/college teacher could be earning around Rs 5,000 more per month than a fresh IAS recruit.
Unbelievable as it may sound but the University Grant Commsion’s Pay Review Committee, by recommending a minimum 70% salary hike along with a host of increments and inducements, has made it clear that knowledge economy is the next big thing and the government must invest on teachers for long-term gains.
Among other major proposals aimed at attracting better talent to teaching, the committee headed by former JNU vice-chancellor G K Chadha said the post of lecturer should be replaced by that of assistant professor. The panel also recommended giving five advance increments to those joining with a PhD degree.
In monetary terms, a PhD holder who joins as a teacher in a central university would get Rs 29,696 per month (basic Rs 15600+grade pay Rs 6600+five increments Rs 3400+DA Rs 4096) whereas a newly recruited IAS gets Rs 24,360.
The report given to the UGC on Friday brings the monthly salary of vice-chancellors at par with secretary in the government. It has been fixed at Rs 80,000. The committee has also recommended an annual increment of 3% of the basic salary with compounding effect.
But 25% of teachers in the pay band of Rs 15600-39100 would get 4% increment of the basic salary on the basis of better teaching and research performance. All recommendations would be implemented with effect from January 1, 2006.
The committee could not estimate the financial implication of the salary hike. But it recommended that if the states implement the proposals for its universities, the Centre should bear 100% burden for the next five years. In fact, if states implement all recommendations effectively, the committee has said, the Centre should bear 50% of the salary burden for another five years thereafter.
UGC would now meet on October 7-8 to consider the report and then take it to the HRD ministry for action. ''UGC will accept the report in entirety. Even HRD ministry is keen to implement recommendations of the committee,'' a senior official said.
The report doesn't stop at hiking salaries. It puts premium on youth, creates new posts like senior professor and professor of eminence, makes career growth faster for those with impeccable academic credentials, scoffs at the trend of hiring teachers on contract, makes research easier, recommends pension after 20 years of teaching and wants teachers to get assessed by students.
In fact, if the proposals are accepted, teachers can hope become a professor within 15 years of service instead of the current minimum period of 17 years. In line with the Sixth Pay Commission, the UGC Pay Review Committee has also recommended that women teachers should get child care leave for two years. Maternity leave has been increased from 90 days to 180 days.
In many other ways as well, the report is a break from the past. For instance, the post of professor has been recommended in colleges holding postgraduate classes. However, the professor's post here would be filled through open competition. In another first, the committee has introduced a monthly academic allowance of Rs 1,500 for assistant professors. But it has been brought down to Rs 1,200 for senior posts like associate professor and professor. Chadha reasoned that it is important to encourage young people to conduct research.
The panel said the duration of leave for pursuing PhD should be increased to four years from the present three. It also favoured removing the rule that restricted such leave to people up to the age of 45 years. Also, it said, there should be no bar on a teacher getting both sabbatical and study leave against approved research projects. The process of promotion of a teacher under career advancement scheme should be started at least three months before the person becomes eligible for promotion, it added.