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Trying to Read Between Lines, Says Bengal Governor Amid Tiff With Mamata Over ‘Advice’ to Teachers

Teachers in state-aided colleges and universities in West Bengal stand to get a better pay packet from the New Year with Banerjee announcing on Tuesday that her government would implement the revised UGC pay scale from January 1.

Sujit Nath | News18.com

Updated:November 6, 2019, 11:55 AM IST
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Trying to Read Between Lines, Says Bengal Governor Amid Tiff With Mamata Over ‘Advice’ to Teachers
File photo of Jagdeep Dhankar and Mamata Banerjee. (Image : PTI)

Kolkata: Locking horns once again, West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar hit out at chief minister Mamata Banerjee for her unwarranted ‘interference’ in the academic affairs of the state after she announced the implementation of the revised UGC pay scale across institutions.

Teachers in state-aided colleges and universities in West Bengal stand to get a better pay packet from the New Year with Banerjee announcing on Tuesday that her government would implement the revised UGC pay scale from January 1.

Dhankar, who is an active critic of the TMC-led government in the state and Banerjee in particular, slammed the CM for meddling in his affairs. Tagging her in a tweet, the governor wrote, “Making an earnest effort to read between the lines. All my actions as Governor and Chancellor are as scripted in the Constitution and Acts of Universities.”

The governor's comments were also a reaction to a veiled dig that Banerjee took during a ‘get together’ with the vice chancellors of 18 universities and college professors organised at the Netaji Indoor Stadium, Kolkata. Without taking names, Banerjee said, “Don’t pay heed to what others are saying. No need to worry. If you have any issue, please come to me directly. We are here to resolve your issues,” as she went on to announce the new pay scheme.

This meeting came in the backdrop of Dhankar’s wish to meet the Jadavpur University Teachers’ Association (JUTA) to discuss various demands, including the implementation the revised UGC pay scale.

The Chief Minister said that the implementation of the revised pay scale, as per the seventh Central Pay Commission, will cost the government an additional Rs 1,000 crore. The revised pay scale will be implemented in government colleges, state-aided colleges and universities. The teachers will also get an increment of 3 per cent on their respective salaries for four years, from 2016-19, Banerjee said.

The Chief Minister also announced a Rs 5,000 hike for part time teachers of state-aided colleges and universities. To ensure job security, the government has decided that their services will continue till 60 years of age, she said.

The ruling TMC and West Bengal Governor had been locked in a war of words for quite some time over various issues.

On September 19, the Governor faced criticism from the TMC for rescuing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Babul Supriyo who found himself in the eye of protests at the Jadavpur University (JU) during an event organised by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).

Not the least, on September 24, Dhankhar had visited Siliguri to inaugurate the newly constructed building of Indian Chamber of Commerce. Then, he expressed his desire to interact with the District administration and MP, MLAs of Darjeeling district. However, most of them cited ‘unavoidable reason’ and stayed away from the meeting.

He faced similar situation at North and South 24 Parganas districts at Dhamakhali and in Sajnakhali, respectively, where administrative officials, MLSs and MPs expressed their inability to attend his administrative meetings without the permission of the state government. On October 11, the situation turned bitter during Durga Puja carnival at iconic Red Road in Kolkata after Dhankar accused that he was sidelined and he was not shown on television during the carnival.

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