Lucknow: Universities of Uttar Pradesh have become a scapegoat in the ongoing tug-of-war between the state government and the Centre.

The Sixth Pay Commission which brought a smile back on the face of teachers all across the country, has not seen the light of day in UP. Owing to the failure of UP government to extend the retirement age of teachers to 65 years, the Union Government has blocked the release of Rs 855 crores, which was to be distributed amongst the teachers of Universities and affiliated colleges under the Sixth Pay Commission.

As a result, thousands of hapless teachers find themselves encompassed in the dispute between the state government and the Centre.

The Human Resource Development Ministry in a letter on December 13, 2008 has asked the state government to approve the Sixth Pay Commission in the state universities and affiliated colleges from January 1, 2006. The Ministry had claimed that it would bear 80 percent of the amount to be given as a revised salary to teachers of UP from January 1, 2006 to March 31, 2010. However, the HRD ministry made some terms and conditions for the state government before approving the amount.

One of the conditions of the HRD Ministry was to increase the retirement age of teachers to 65 years. For the record, the age of retirement in state universities and affiliated colleges is 62 years. Whereas, the retirement age of teachers in government colleges is 60 years.

On February 28, 2009 the state government passed a government order regarding the revised payment to the teachers of Universities and affiliated colleges. However, as the stalemate continues, several teachers have taken a stay order from the Supreme Court on this issue.

Avinash Kumar Awasthi, Secretary, Higher Education said, “In an effort to get the amount cleared, the state engaged in deliberations with the Centre and the HRD Ministry.” He added, “We are preparing a proposal regarding some flexibility in terms and conditions of HRD Ministry, which would be soon forwarded to the Centre for approval.”

(JPN/Bureau)