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Retired teachers to meet Nitish

Patna, Nov. 29: A delegation of retired teachers of state universities under the banner of Federation of Retired University Teachers Association of Bihar (FUTAB) and Patna University Retired Teachers Association (PURTA) have decided to meet the chief minister Nitish Kumar and human resource development (HRD) minister P.K. Shahi with a memorandum urging them to take urgent steps for the early release of their long-pending retirement dues.

The retired teachers’ delegation comprising Ghanshyam Prasad Singh, Ram Pravesh Singh, K.K. Sinha, Arjun Prasad, S.K. Ganguli and others will meet the chief minister and the HRD minister and apprised them of their problems.

The retired teachers’ main demands include pension revision of pre-2006 retirees from January 1, 2006 as per the provision 16 of Patna University Retirement Benefit Statute as well as the UGC guidelines.

PURTA secretary S.K. Ganguli told The Telegraph: “Apart from pension revision, other demands of the retired teachers include the payment of University Grants Commission (UGC) pay arrears from 1998, merger of 50 per cent dearness allowance with pension from January 1, 2005, medical allowance of Rs 200 per month and others.”

Non-payment of retirement dues to teachers and university non-teaching staff had resulted in financial distress to both the sections and for non-teaching staff it became the question of their bread and butter. Moreover, it may be mentioned that retired teachers have been compelled to seek legal recourse for the implementation of the abovementioned issues, which are all provided in the statute and are on a par with the facilities offered to government pensioners. Ganguli also said that apart from these, the retired teachers’ association would also apprise the leaders to take serious efforts for improving the higher education in the state.

Earlier last week, a meeting of heads of various universities in Bihar and HRD officials was held in which HRD had asked the university authorities and finance department auditors to submit the report containing details of arrear calculations within three months. Once the university authorities and finance department auditors submit the arrear calculations to the HRD department, the state government will start the process of disbursing dues of retired teachers and non-teaching staff.

Ray of hope

Patna High Court today held that retired university and college teachers are entitled to get pension from both the university and the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council. Justice V.N. Sinha passed the judgement on a petition filed by former Jiradeyi legislator and a retired professor Raghav Prasad seeking direction to the Assembly secretariat to clear his pension dues from March, 1993 to October, 2006.

The court directed the Assembly secretariat to clear Prasad’s pension arrears with effect from March 13, 1993, which was upheld by the Assembly secretariat after an amendment to the Pension Act was implemented making it mandatory to draw pension only from one place with retrospective effect from March 13, 1993. Prasad, however, is presently getting the pension of retired professor as he was denied pension by the Assembly secretariat referring to the said provisions of the Act.

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