After dragging its feet for over four years, Panjab University (PU) is set to provide three increments to faculty members who have completed their PhD while in service as mandated by the University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines.
According to these guidelines, adopted by the university in 2010, teachers who complete their PhD while in service shall be entitled to three non-compounded increments, if such PhD is in the relevant discipline and has been awarded by a university complying with the process prescribed by the UGC for enrolment, course-work and evaluation, etc.
The university has not extended the benefit since 2011, thus depriving 100-odd faculty members of their dues and recognition, on the grounds of objections by the audit department.
The audit department’s objection was that the university senate had not granted any approval for giving the increments.
With a Fellow Dr Dinesh Kumar, raising the issue in the senate meeting on December 14, the issue was tabled in the syndicate meeting held on December 21, in which the house accorded its approval for providing increment to faculty members. The matter will now be again put up before the senate for final approval.
Department of law assistant professor Dr Anil Kumar is among many such faculty members, who have so far been deprived of their right. Kumar joined the university in 2006 and completed his PhD in 2012. However, even after more than two years, he is yet to get his dues.
“The authorities should release our dues at earliest,” he said.
When contacted, dean of university instructions (DUI) Prof AK Bhandari said the delay in providing three increments to the faculty members had largely been due to audit objections. He added that the issue had been resolved and teachers would get their dues very shortly.
Over the past few years, the Panjab University Teachers Association (PUTA) has received several complaints from faculty members, requesting them to take up the issue with the authorities. PUTA president Rajat Sandhir said all benefits provided to the teachers under the UGC guidelines should be uniformly given to all, at the earliest.