When 7th Pay and UGC regulations 2018 for the colleges will be implemented in Manipur ?

Dr N Somorendro *

There is uncertainty when 7th Pay and UGC Regulations 2018 for the Colleges will be implemented in Manipur. Without strike by the teachers no adoption of ten yearly pay revisions took place in the past. The pay revision of university and college teachers as per 7th pay has been informed by MHRD to UGC and to the Chief Secretaries of all state governments including Manipur vide the letter dated 2nd November, 2017.

Such things and delays are not new in Manipur. However what is really a new thing now is that even before implementation, the violation of UGC Regulations 2018 has already started. This is clearly seen in the present advertisements for the recruitment of regular Principals by MPSC for the government colleges under Department of Higher Education, Government of Manipur.

In the advertisements the pay scales of the Principals: Rs. 37400-67000/- plus AGP of Rs. 10000/- is of 6th Pay and UGC Regulations, 2010. However in the same advertisements the qualifications of Principals of minimum of 10 research publications and 110 Research Score is of UGC Regulations, 2018.

Mixing up of pay scales of UGC Regulations 2010 and qualifications of UGC Regulations, 2018 in the recruitment of Principals is an innovation but clear violations of both the Regulations. Both UGC Regulations, 2010 and UGC Regulations, 2018 clearly specify that revised pay scales and qualifications of teachers including Principals have to be adopted as composite scheme. Government of Manipur has not adopted UGC Regulations, 2018 and no Order has been issued by Higher Education Department which is required as per UGC Regulations, 2018.

The present advertisements and recruitment of Principals is another classic example of how national policies of UGC Regulations are ignored, casually taken and violated in Manipur. The question being asked among the college teachers is: why such hurry and compulsion to violate both UGC Regulations, 2010 and UGC Regulations, 2018 in the recruitment of Principals who are the heads of the Colleges? Any progressive measure for improving the collegiate education including recruitment of regular Principals is certainly welcomed.

UGC Regulations, 2018 issued on 18th July, 2018 by University Grants Commission (UGC) specifically mentions that these regulations have to be adopted first by the Central Universities and state governments for the universities and colleges in India. The previous recruitment by MPSC and appointment of Principals during 2013-2016 by Higher Education Department was cancelled by the Hon’ble High Court of Manipur and later upheld by Hon’ble Supreme Court of India.

Manipur is at the bottom in the implementation of National Higher Education Policies of University Grants Commission (UGC) Regulations which govern the pay scales, pay revisions, qualifications, career advancement of the college teachers including the Principals.

For every ten years UGC Regulations are revised and adopted as a national policy for the universities and colleges. Higher Education Department issued Orders on 12th August, 2011 implementing 6th Pay revision and UGC Regulations, 2010 after State Cabinet adopted the same. In the past failures to implement UGC Regulations on time, their deviation or violations along with other factors have been the key factors for the declining collegiate education in Manipur.

In the previous 6th Pay and UGC Regulations, 2010 implementation, Manipur was not only the last state in India but also failed in many aspects. UGC Regulations, 2010 has the provision to reimburse 80% of the total amount pay revision and arrear payment from 1st January, 2006 to 31st March 2010 by the central government to all the state governments for the university and college teachers.

State governments including neighbouring states of Mizoram, Meghalaya etc made arrear payment from 1st January, 2006 onwards and took 80% re-imbursement amount from the central government for their college teachers. Manipur not only refused to provide such arrear payment from 1st January 2006 and take 80% re-imbursement from the central government but granted 13 months less in the payment of arrears from the other employees of the government of Manipur to the college teachers in the 6th pay implementation.

The 6th pay implementation Order issued in the name of Hon’ble Governor also have deprived the government college teachers the complete salary by denying the allowances of SCA and TA and still continues even today. The official ground for the denial is the Academic Grade Pay (AGP) and Grade Pay (GP) differences. But the same Orders clearly mentions that all the allowances applicable to the state government employees of Manipur shall also be applicable to the teachers and equivalent cadres in government colleges.

Other employees who have Grade Pay and the school teachers in Manipur who have AGP got complete salary including SCA and TA. The state government must rectify the present mistake and discrimination of college teachers by granting allowances of SCA and TA immediately.

Such failures and misadventures by the decision makers and plain discrimination have demoralized the college teachers who are the most educated section among the government employees in Manipur. However the government college teachers in Manipur got the poetic justice and moral victory as the revious political leadership who did not fulfill their assurances lost power after assembly elections in 2017. It seemed that the curse of the college teachers worked (College Ojashingna touba shap tu panba mali).

Many teachers believe that teachers are like Brahmins of the past who stand for truth, justice and morality. In reality reasons for such gross violation of the principle of equality and distortion of UGC Regulations, 2010 in Manipur are due to the fact that there are decision makers who justify such misadventures. Of course the college teachers are not important for winning elections for the political leaders in Manipur.

In contrast to delay and distortion of UGC Regulations, 2010, Manipur was one of the first states in India attempted to implement another central scheme of RUSA. RUSA has funds for constructions and recruitment while UGC Regulations, 2010 does not have construction funds. However RUSA failed including Dhanamanjuri University till 2017. Now the priority has been on RUSA implementation and not UGC Regulations.

Dhanamanjuri University is yet to be fully functional as per RUSA and UGC Regulations by not appointing academicians as Vice-Chancellor, Registrar etc, failure to establish University Departments, not recruiting Professors, not offering Ph.D. programmes etc. So when it comes to the implementation of national policies of UGC, RUSA and NAAC, Manipur’s record is not encouraging and consequences are for everyone to see in the collegiate education and higher education.

It is high time that the national higher education policies of UGC, RUSA and NAAC are implemented in true spirit without delay and follow the laid down provisions and rules. The government action and role of stakeholders must be empowering and facilitating colleges, Principals, teachers, non-teaching staff and of course the students.

UGC Regulations, 2018 has positive provisions including appointment of Vice-Principals, Professors in the colleges, induction programme of newly appointed Assistant Professors, advance increments for those who possess higher qualifications of M.Phil and Ph.D. Manipur should adopt and implement UGC Regulations, 2018 both revised pay scales of 7th Pay and qualifications for the college teachers including the Principals at the earliest.

For the other employees, the government of Manipur has already agreed the revised pay scales and arrears with effect from 1st April, 2019 to be deposited into GPF Accounts and actual cash payments from 1st April, 2020. When such decision will be taken up for the government colleges in Manipur? The present government leadership may have the wisdom not to follow the previous governments’ waiting for strikes by the teachers and academic disturbances.

Implementing the 7th pay and UGC Regulations, 2018, Manipur will be an important step towards transforming collegiate education and subsequently bring positive social and economic change.

Many states have already implemented revised 7th pay and UGC Regulations, 2018. Waiting for the strikes is not a good option. No academic disturbance in educational institutions should be new collective objective in addition to bandh-blockade free Manipur.

* Dr N Somorendro wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The author is the General Secretary, Federation of Government College Teachers’ Associations , Manipur (FEGOCTA)
This article was webcasted on January 23 2019.

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