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Teachers wait for arrears

New Delhi, Sept. 26: Nearly five lakh college and university teachers are still waiting for arrears under the Sixth Pay Revision the human resource development ministry announced in December 2008 with retrospective effect from January 2006.

Most states have implemented the revised package without paying the arrears as they are waiting for assistance from the ministry, which had told them it would bear 80 per cent of the additional cost for the first four years till March 2010.

The Centre had, however, put a condition, saying states would have to increase the retirement age of teachers to 65 to be eligible for this assistance.

Since most states have not increased the retirement age to 65, they are yet to get the central assistance that works out to Rs 10,000 crore.

As a result, teachers of about 260 state universities and 25,000 colleges have not been paid their arrears yet.

The state governments had opposed this retirement clause, saying it would lead to a huge financial burden on them and also affect recruitment of young teachers.

The HRD ministry had then assured the states that it would take their concerns to the Union cabinet. But the cabinet last month turned down the ministry’s proposal to release the assistance without linking it to the retirement clause.

“The cabinet on August 19 did not agree to the ministry’s proposal. Now the ministry has referred the matter to the National University for Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA) to study and suggest how the Centre can assist states in view of the contradictory stands taken by the cabinet and state governments,” a source said.

States do not follow a uniform retirement age for teachers. While in most states it is 58, it is 55 in Kerala.

“Now we are studying the retirement age of teachers in states. We will examine what will be the financial implication if the states increase the retirement age to 65 years,” NUEPA vice-chancellor R. Govinda said.

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