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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

DUTA puts its final draft for pay revision before 6th Pay Commission

The Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) sent its final draft for revision of salaries of teachers to the sixth Pay Commission earlier this week. The Commission had asked for the recommendations in October 2007. A meeting between the two is expected next week.

The Commission was set up by the University Grants Commission in 2007. Some of the points taken up by the DUTA include increase in salary, endowment of professorship, one month's basic salary as medical allowance, fast track promotion scheme. If the recommendations are approved, the average income of a Reader in Delhi University can go up to Rs 60,000 from the current Rs 18,400.

“The recommendations are made in order to retain talent in the teaching profession,” Aditya Narayan Mishra, DUTA president, said. According to him, the last seven years have seen a massive diversion of talented youth towards professions with better packages and deals. “When I became a teacher in 1970s, teaching was the second preferred choice. Now teaching ranks in the ninth position. We have to get back our youth and an attractive package is the best way to do it,” Mishra said.

According to Sunil Tiwari, teacher in Bhagat Singh College, the Commission had specifically mentioned that the recommendations should be made on “how to attract and retain talent in higher education”.

“It took two months and 10 meetings to come up with the final draft," he said. Members of DUTA are hopeful that the new recommendations will also be observed for revising the payment of teachers in other universities of India. “But all this may take a lot of time,” a member said.

At present, however, the immediate demand of teachers is professorship in Delhi University. “Without professorship (promotion), it will be difficult to attract people because in all other professions, promotion is performance based and not based on the number of years put in,” Mishra said.

Seventy per cent of the 8,000 teachers in DU have seen a stagnation in salary and position for the past 10 years. In 1998, the Pay Commission had introduced professorship in DU but the UGC withdrew it in 2000. It takes a teacher a minimum of 11 years of research and teaching to attain the position of Reader, the highest position in DU.