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Teachers mull legal recourse

Guwahati, Dec. 5: Teachers of venture colleges in Assam have threatened to drag Dispur to court for its alleged discrimination in making their jobs permanent.

Assam has 130-plus venture colleges which do not receive any funds from the state government either to pay salaries to teachers or carry out development activities. Venture colleges are institutions set up at the initiative of an individual or society with the aim of making higher education accessible to all.

Jyoti Prasad Bora, president of Assam College Teachers and Librarians Association (ACTLA), said teachers of venture colleges saw a ray of hope when the government introduced Assam Venture Educational Institutions (Provincialisation of Services) Act, 2011. The act makes it mandatory to provincialise the post of a teacher, he/she must be in service for 10 years continuously after the institution receives recognition from the government, instead of the date of joining the job.

Provincialisation of an educational institution implies that the government will bear the expenses for its running, including payment of regular salaries to teachers.

“Though many venture colleges have been provincialised under the act, posts of 650 teachers of such colleges have not been provincialised or made permanent by the government on its own whims and fancies. The government is arguing that teachers who were appointed after 1998 and have not cleared either National Eligibility Test or State Level Eligibility Test, would not be provincialised,” Bora told reporters here today.

The University Grants Commission had issued a notification in 1998, stipulating that posts of college teachers would not be regularised or made permanent unless the candidates clear NET or SLET. Before 1998, it was mandatory for college teachers only to clear post-graduation with 55 per cent aggregate marks.

“The Assam government decided to implement the UGC notification from 2000 and made exemptions for college teachers appointed till 2003 without NET or SLET. But the rule applies only for teachers of grants-in-aids deficit colleges like B. Borooah College and Handique Girls’ College and not for venture colleges, which is totally discriminatory,” Bora said.

Ashok Kumar Das, ACTLA general secretary, said teachers of venture colleges have no option other than approaching Gauhati High Court.

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