The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Pay-freeze stick for script scan

After realising that ultimatums do not work — at least, not with teachers who insist on staying away from the cumbersome task of checking answer-scripts — Calcutta University (CU) is all set to put words into action.

With one of the largest assessment procedures — in terms of the volume of examinees and papers that have to be checked — staring it in the face after the conclusion of this year’s exam season, CU has decided to be as good as its word in blocking increments and promotions of teachers who habitually shirk assessment duty.

Senior university officers say they have begun an exercise for which they are in constant touch with state higher education department officers at Bikash Bhavan. And the object of the synchronised focus: the files pertaining to the annual increments and the less-frequent promotions of teachers working in the 200-odd colleges affiliated to it.

“Our intention is very simple,” CU pro vice-chancellor (academic) Suranjan Das said on Tuesday. “We want to make sure that no teacher who fails to fulfil any aspect of the duty assigned to him/her, gets through the large government net and avails of financial and other benefits.”

Officers say the necessity for a regular interaction between the state higher education department and the university has arisen as the former happens to be the pay-master of teachers, most of whom, officially, are employees of individual colleges. Only a small percentage who work in colleges run directly by the state government, like Presidency and Maulana Azad, are government employees.

Though teachers are bound by university rules, the system being followed has increments and promotions of all teachers — working both in colleges directly belonging to the state government and otherwise — being granted by the government according to recommendations of the managing committees of the respective colleges.

“The university never felt the need to have any say on the recommendations that colleges sent to Bikash Bhavan,” an officer said. “But, with the situation getting more unmanageable year after year with the increasing number of examinees, we are left with no option but to enforce these tough measures,” he added. According to rules not enforced yet, a teacher's career advancement can be held in abeyance if he refuses to go by the script.

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