In utter discouragement to many young faculty members of Panjab University who have completed their PhD while in service, the university has failed to provide three advance increments to them, thus violating the University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines.
As per the guidelines 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.
Babita Mahajan, assistant professor at the department of Law, is among many of such faculty members, who have been deprived of their right. Babita joined the university in 2005 and completed her PhD in January 2011. Even after 15 months, she was not paid her dues.
The PU authorities have been turning their back on those approaching for increments on ground that a clarification is needed from the UGC on the issue, as the audit department has raised objections to the increments given to the teachers having completed their PhD while in service.
While talking to HT, Babita claimed that she was entitled for three increments as per the UGC notification, which was also approved by the syndicate. "To reasons known best to authorities, I have not been given any increments," said Babita, adding that She had also written to the authorities to pay her dues.
When contacted, dean of university instructions (DUI) prof Bhupinder Singh Brar said in case of audit objections there was nothing much that the PU authorities could do. "Clarifications from the authorities concerned are must to proceed further," said prof Brar. However, he assured to expedite the process so that the teachers get their dues.
The Panjab University Teachers Association (PUTA) has also received several complaints in this regard. Mohammed Khalid, secretary of PUTA, said all the benefits provided to the teachers under the UGC guidelines should be uniformly given to all without adopting pick and choose policy. "We will take up the issue with the authorities," said Khalid.