15 years after NPS comes into effect, most UP teachers, staff still to draw benefit
The state government is yet to deduct contributions from the salaries of a majority of teachers and non-teaching staff of government-run primary and upper primary schools of the state, towards the new pension scheme (NPS), which was introduced 15 years ago.Updated: Oct 23, 2020, 17:32 IST
The state government is yet to deduct contributions from the salaries of a majority of teachers and non-teaching staff of government-run primary and upper primary schools of the state, towards the new pension scheme (NPS), which was introduced 15 years ago.
In Prayagraj alone, out of 8,307 teachers and non-teaching staff which was appointed after 2005 and are covered under the NPS, deductions from 1502 employees (18%) has begun, putting the old age of others at risk, said UP Prathmik Shikshak Sangh district president Devendra Kumar Srivastava.
So far, only 3,636 employees have been allotted the Permanent Retirement Account Number (PRAN) while even applications for PRAN allocation of the remaining 4,671 staff have not yet been submitted. Not only this, deductions towards pension of 266 teachers of 33 primary schools attached to government-aided secondary schools of the district too have not been started till date, he added.
The situation is the same of teachers of Sanskrit schools, where pension deductions are yet to begin, claimed affected teachers.
The result of the new pension scheme not being implemented properly is that after retirement, teachers and employees are struggling to even get treatment for ailments, they add.
The condition of teachers and employees of 181 government-aided secondary schools is comparatively better than those at government-run primary and upper primary schools. Here, 2,025 employees are eligible for NPS, including 1,486 teachers and 539 non-teaching staff members. Out of these, pension contribution deduction of 1,785 has begun.
The NPS was introduced in January 2004 for central government employees and this was implemented in UP with effect from April 1, 2005 after notification was issued on March 28, 2005.
However, for 11 years nothing was done to ensure NPS benefits cover the teachers and staff of government-aided secondary schools.
A government order for deduction of pension contribution from salaries was issued in May 2016 but till date a majority of the staff are yet to get a PRAN allotted to them, teachers claimed.
Though officials are reluctant to comment on record over the issue as the matter is pending at the government level, they say that the delay in completing formalities for allotment of PRAN is due to many district inspectors of schools (DIOSs) failing to complete formalities.
However this situation has landed many a teacher appointed after April 2005 in a tight spot, where despite putting in years of service and being eligible for NPS, they are not getting any pension.
Drawing a salary of around Rs 60,000 to 70,000 per month while in service, today, these teachers are struggling to eke out a living after retirement.
In Prayagraj itself, be it Kalpana Sagar of KP Intermediate College, Asha Vyas and Anand Nidhan Singh of Mangla Prasad Intermediate College, Bampur; Rani Sharma of KVM Intermediate College, Kamla Nagar; Usha Srivastava of Firoz Gandhi Intermediate College, Garapur; or Ram Singh of Subhash Anglo Bengali Vedic Intermediate College, all are struggling to survive with dignity.
Take the example of Harish Chandra, an affected teacher. “I was appointed as a teacher at Gandhi Intermediate College-Patel Nagar in Jhunsi in 2007 and I retired on March 31, 2020. Despite deductions from salary under NPS, after 13 years of service I am not getting any pension,” he said.
Kamlesh Parihar, another affected teacher, said that he was appointed a lecturer of economics at Crosthwaite Girls Intermediate College in 2007 and retired in March 2018. “Even deduction of NPS was made for 22 months from my salary but I am getting no pension. I have already lost my husband and now I am worried for the marriage of my two daughters,” she said.
When contacted, deputy chief minister Dinesh Sharma, who is also state secondary and higher education minister, said that the matter would be looked into on priority. He said that those affected should formally send representations to the state government.