Around 100 assistant professors at Panjab University (PU), who completed their PhD degree without course work before 2009, have been waiting to receive their higher qualification benefits in terms of increments, for the past six years.
Though varsity authorities had issued orders to release their increments last year, it hasn’t been implemented yet. Panjab University Teachers’ Association( PUT A) has approached the higher authorities, demanding the release of qualification benefits to those who acquired PhD before 2009, but no action has been taken yet.
Vishal Gupta, assistant professor at University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET), said, “Four-five months ago, all of us who had applied for the increments, the university had issued orders by our names, stating that the increments be released for all those who had completed their PhD without coursework, when the new regulation was not introduced. But then later, the auditor put an objection saying that there lies no mention in the UGC guidelines that the assistant professors who completed PhD without coursework are entitled for any increment.”
Similarly, Dr Rajeev Kumar, assistant professor at Environment department at Panjab University (PU) said, “When the syndicate and senate can take decisions in regard to our jobs then why cannot our increments be paid, pending for last six years. We have a right to receive the higher qualification benefits and despite the fact that the university has no problem in giving away the increments, we have received none”.
However, Amrinder Pal Singh, secretary of Panjab University Teachers’ Association (PUTA) said they had earlier given in writing to the university authorities to take care of the matter, since the assistant professors who completed their PhD before 2009 had no option of course work then, which is why there was no reason to cut down their increments.
He added, “We had sent a letter to the ministry of human resource development (MHRD) as well to consider the issue since assistant professors who did their PhD degree without course work have been receiving their higher education qualification benefits in other universities, then why not PU”.
“Surprisingly, senate had also approved the matter, but the auditor had raised an objection without clarifying what is required in particular. Also, the university officials do not reply on time, so that inconvenience faced by young teachers can be avoided at earliest”. Singh said.
PUTA had sent a reminder to the union MHRD in 2014 about the increments, but so far no action is taken.