PU bats for UGC regulations for retirement age, proposes fresh amendments
PU has proposed that the retirement age be as per the regulations of the UGC — which is 65 years as opposed to the varsit’s retirement age, which is 60 years at present
With Panjab University (PU) still awaiting the approval of previous amendments in regulations for the enhancement of teachers’ retirement age from the central government, the varsity has once again proposed fresh amendments in its calendar.
PU has proposed that the retirement age be as per the regulations of the University Grants Commission (UGC) — which is 65 years as opposed to the varsity’s retirement age, which is 60 years at present.
The proposed amendments, recently recommended by the varsity’s regulations committee, will be taken up in the next meeting of the syndicate, PU’s executive body. The same amendments have also been proposed for the retirement age enhancement for the teachers at non-government colleges affiliated to the PU and, after approval from the syndicate and senate, will be sent to the central government for the final nod.
Notably, PU, following its senate’s approval in 2011, had already sent the proposal to raise the teachers’ retirement age to the central government, but the approval was awaited.
The fresh amendments have been proposed in the backdrop of a Union ministry of home affairs notification, dated March 29, 2022, for the employees of Chandigarh administration. The service conditions of teachers at PU and non-government colleges affiliated to the university are determined by the PU calendar, as per which the retirement age is 60 years at present.
Instead of 60 years retirement age, the regulation committee has proposed the regulation 17.3 appearing at page 133, under chapter VI (A), of PU calendar volume-I 2022, as “All whole-time members of teaching staff, as defined in regulation 1.1 of chapter V(A), shall retire at the age mentioned in the regulations of University Grants Commission (UGC)/ regulating body of HEIs.”
A similar amendment has been proposed in regulation 7, appearing at page 173, under chapter VIII (E) of PU calendar volume-I 2022, that deals with the retirement age of teachers at non-government affiliated colleges of PU.
However, in the earlier amendments approved by the varsity, the University proposed the retirement age of 65 years.
Addressing the latest proposal, a senior university official said, “This time the committee has directly proposed that retirement age should be as per UGC regulations so that it does not need to be changed from time-to-time whenever any change is made by the UGC.”
Since the implementation of central services rules in Chandigarh, the retirement age at city’s government colleges has increased to 65 years, also matched by Punjab Engineering College (PEC). But the benefit has not been extended to the university due to the inter-state body corporate status.
The retirement age of teachers at the seven aided colleges in Chandigarh is also 60 years, as per PU regulations. After the recent protests by the staff of these colleges, the UT administration maintained that it cannot enhance the teachers’ retirement age to 65 years unless the requisite amendments are made in Panjab University’s regulations.
Issue pending before HC
PU teachers had also approached the Punjab and Haryana high court (HC) seeking the enhancement in retirement age, but lost the first round of litigation, with a high court single judge bench dismissing the 2014 plea. However, the same year, the teachers approached a division bench, which stayed operation of the single bench order and allowed teachers to continue in service till 65 years.
It was the latter order that was vacated by the division bench on September 19 last year. However, the Supreme Court later stayed the order to vacate the 2016 stay order and the matter is still pending before the HC.