It is a time of guarded excitement at various university campuses across the city. Teachers and employees at the city’s three central universities have welcomed the basic premise of the Sixth Central Pay Commission that sets out improving the lot of teachers as one of its prime recommendations.
Although the pay structure of central university employees is fixed by the University Grants Commission (UGC), those in the know say there is good reason to believe the Pay Commission recommendation augurs better pay packages.
“The special emphasis on teachers in the Sixth Pay Commission which says they should be put in a better pay scale is something we really welcome. Although the GK Chaddha Committee constituted by the UGC will decide our pay structure later, they will take their decision based on this Pay Commission,” said Aditya Narayan Mishra, president of Delhi University Teachers’ Union and also president of FEDCUTA that represents 23 central universities.
Jamia Millia Islamia teachers’ association general secretary Tabrez Alam Khan said if the government wanted to attract and retain talent, salaries for teachers will have to go up.
Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) vice-chancellor BB Bhattacharya agreed with Mishra but said he did not expect much. “In any case, it is not likely to be a very big jump,” Bhattacharya.
JNU teachers’ union president Kamal Mitra Chenoy said teaching communities across the country would be closely watching if the UGC would be able to maintain parity between teachers and civil servants. “The UGC pay commission basically decides if professors should get salaries equivalent to joint secretaries. But when parity is decided, teachers have taken a beating in the past few years. Parity is very important as people are not coming into teaching, especially some disciplines of science,” said Chenoy.
He said the gap between the salaries of civil servants and teachers grew with every pay commission. “There was a time when the salaries of professors were equivalent to additional secretaries, later they came down to the level of joint secretaries,” added Chenoy.