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In Meeting with JU Teachers, Bengal Guv Picks Flaws in Mamata's Way of Enforcing New UGC Pay Scale

File photos of West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

File photos of West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

The meeting comes after JUTA expressed their disenchantment over the state government’s decision to apply the revised UGC pay scale from January 1, 2020, against 2016.

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Sujit Nath

Kolkata: Four days after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced revised UGC pay scale for teachers, Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Saturday met a delegation of the Jadavpur University Teachers' Association and discussed a range of issues, including the 'Institution of Eminence' (IoE) tag and implementation of the new pay scale.

During the course of the meeting, the Governor expressed dismay over the state over state government’s decision to implement it from January 1, 2020, instead of 2016 and called the delay “unjustified”, said JUTA, General Secretary, Partha Pratim Ray.

“This morning we went to Raj Bhawan to meet the Governor. He asked how much arrears teachers will lose by this delay. We have given him a rough estimate of nearly Rs 20 lakhs for Professor/Associate Professor and nearly Rs 10 lakhs for an Assistant Professor. In this respect, he said that teachers will lose a large part of the scheme’s share if it is not effectively implemented from January 1, 2016,” Ray said.

Dhankhar assured the delegation that if the Bengal government implements the pay scale effectively from January 1, 2016, then he will try to get the central share of the arrears for the teachers.

On the statute issue, Dhankar told JUTA that he has no previous documents of the revised statute sent by the Jadavpur University.

“The Governor said that he has asked for the previous documents on the statute from the officers of the state higher education department. But he hasn’t received any yet. He assured us that he will intervene if JU sends the documents of the revised statute to him. He expressed his concern that JU doesn’t have the revised statute even after its amendment in 2011. We have informed him that the elected representatives are not there in the statutory bodies and therefore the Faculty Council of Interdisciplinary Studies, Law and Management (FISLM) in JU is finding it difficult to give degree to the students.

Regarding the Centre’s funding and ‘Institution of Eminence’ (IoE) issue, Dhankhar asked for the details of the concerned officials and their contact numbers from the delegation. “He promised to raise the IoE issue in the forthcoming meet.

The meeting comes after JUTA expressed their disenchantment over the state government’s decision to apply the revised UGC pay scale from January 1, 2020, against 2016.

JUTA, in a letter to the Chief Minister, had said, “All the central universities have implemented the new pay scales with effect from January 1, 2016, and only four state universities (Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Punjab and West Bengal) had not done so up to the end of October 2019. We are grateful to you for announcing at the meeting you held with college and university teachers at the Netaji Indoor Stadium on November 5, 2019, that the new pay scales will be implemented in West Bengal with effect from January 1, 2020, with notional fixation from January 1, 2016.”

“However, you will appreciate that by doing this the government of West Bengal is not only discriminating against teachers in this state, as compared to their peers elsewhere in the country but also making them suffer a substantial financial loss, by not paying them their rightful dues by way of arrears payment for four years,” the letter read.


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