The fate of a very significant recommendation made by the Sixth Pay Review Committee (PRC) hangs in the balance as the University Grants Commission (UGC) deliberates on the pay review report submitted on Friday.
In wake of increasing acts of violence against teachers (Professor HS Sabharwal of Madhav College, Ujjain, being beaten to death in 2006 after he spoke in favour of postponing college union elections is a case in point), the University Grants Commission Pay Review Committee has suggested a lump sum compensation of Rs 10 lakh for the families of teachers who die “in performance of their duties”. If implemented, this rehabilitation offer would be a first of its kind in the country.
In 2002, Delhi University (DU) was shocked by the murder of MN Singh — a reader in the Botany Department of Swami Shraddhanand College — by a student he had caught cheating. It was only after a huge agitation by the teaching community of DU that the family was compensated with a cheque of Rs 5 lakh from the university.
Families may no longer have to struggle or look to the society for rehabilitation help if UGC considers the committee’s recommendation.
According to the report, families will be compensated in case of “deaths occurring due to accidents in the course of performance of duties” and “deaths occurring due to accidents in the course of performance of duties attributable to acts of violence by terrorists and anti-social elements.”
“The PRC’s brief was to review the teachers’ pay and improve service conditions. With this recommendation the committee has acknowledged the violence being faced by teachers and if implemented, it will help improve service conditions. As of now this is just a recommendation. The UGC has the prerogative to implement it,” said Professor G.K. Chadha, who headed the PRC.
Even though teachers’ unions are miffed with several recommendations in the report, they have welcomed this gesture. “We are happy that the Chadha Committee has taken note of the professional hazards faced by the teaching community. If implemented this will help teachers discharge their duties more honestly and fearlessly,” said Tabrez Alam Khan, Secretary, Jamia Teachers Association.
“Though this is step taken in the right direction, we feel that a compensation of Rs 10 lakh is not enough for the affected families. The Chadha committee has ignored our demand of providing employment for the family members and offering pension equal to the last salary drawn by the deceased,” said Aditya Nayan Mishra, president, Delhi University Teachers Association.