A hundred-odd Panjab University faculty members who had a PhD when they were appointed, or had earned the degree during their tenure, have been waiting for almost four years to get the salary increments mandated by the University Grants Commission in its regulations announced in 2009.
Varsity officials said PU adopted the new norms on promotion and recruitment of teachers in 2010. However, the university has yet to take a decision on giving increments to teachers in these two categories. Files regarding the issue have been shuffling from one table to another but the faculty members eligible for
increments, most of whom are young teachers, have still to get the funds.
“Teachers with a PhD at the time of recruitment were being given three increments and those studying for a PhD degree during their tenure were entitled for two increments till 2009. According to the new regulations that were enforced in 2010, those appointed with a PhD were to be given five increments and those pursuing the degree during their tenure were entitled to three increments,” a senior PU official said.
However, the university administration not only ignored the UGC norms but even denied increments on the earlier pattern to the teachers, claiming the old regulations were no longer in force.
The PU senate cleared a proposal to give five increments to faculty members who had a PhD when they were appointed and three for those pursuing the degree during their tenure. “The university also issued letters to many teachers informing they were eligible for the increments. However, due to objections from the audit department the increments were not released,” a PU official said. When contacted, PU registrar and dean of university instruction AK Bhandari said the university had recently set up a committee to address the auditors’ objections. “We’re looking into the matter and it’ll be resolved soon,” he said.
Panjab University Teachers Association (PUTA) president Devinder Singh said he had taken up the matter with the authorities concerned on several occasions. “I’m hopeful the issue will be sorted out by August as the PU senate has already cleared the proposal. Only a few objections raised by the auditors need to be addressed,” he added.