In another blow to faculty members of Panjab University (PU) on retirement age, the Union government on Friday told the Punjab and Haryana high court that it was not a centrally funded institution.
Appearing before the bench of justice Amol Rattan Singh, assistant solicitor general Chetan Mittal said the meaning and scope of centrally funded institutions pertained to those institutions which were exclusively funded by the central government through the ministry of human resource development (MHRD) or the University Grants Commission (UGC).
The central government response came on the query posed by the high court.
The Centre has made it clear that the MHRD enhanced the age of superannuation from 62 to 65 of teachers engaged in classroom teaching and who were occupying teaching positions on regular employment against sanctioned posts in centrally funded higher and technical educational institutions in 2007. The state governments were also requested to do the same in view of shortage of experienced teachers. But it categorically said the PU was not a centrally-funded institution for the purpose of 2007 circular as some part of the funding was made by the state government (Punjab).
The court has now asked the MHRD to submit funding details of central universities and the central-government funded institutions such as the Indian Institute of Technology (IITs), Indian Institute of Management (IIMs) on the next date of hearing on January 20. The high court bench orally observed that it was now clear that the PU received a grant of 92% from the central government and the funding pattern of these institutions could help in settling the controversy.
The HC was hearing a petition filed by faculty members of PU in which they are demanding enhancement of retirement age from 60 to 65. The high court has stayed retirement orders of over 30 such petitioners in the past one year. The Centre does not recognise PU as the central university, but the petitioners are claiming that it is a centrally funded university as it is getting up to 92% grant from the MHRD. Punjab and Centre both are not in favour of increasing the retirement age.