The All India Federation of University & College Teachers’ Organisations (AIFUCTO) and Federation of Central Universities’ Teachers’ Associations (FEDCUTA) held a protest and courted arrest at Jantar Mantar, Delhi, on 5th September against the nondisclosure of the Chouhan Committee Report for 7th Pay Review Committee (PRC) and raised other demands regarding public higher education institutions in the country.
As per the Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA)’s press release of the protest, “Pay Review Committee Report was submitted to MHRD more than six months ago. The PRC, that deals not only with pay revision but with all aspects of teachers’ service conditions, including permanent recruitment, promotions and pension, is expected to have made positive recommendations to address the grievances of teachers regarding contractualisation and adhocism of services.” AIFUCTO also sent a letter to the Prime Minister to intervene and implement the PRC recommendations, saying “We have repeatedly written to MHRD and UGC to share the content of the 7th Pay Review Committee Recommendations, a practice that has been followed by all previous governments because AIFUCTO is the apex organization representing the university and college teachers in the country”. Despite meeting with Human Resources Development Minister Mr Prakash Javadekar in May this year and being assured of the report’s release in a month, there are no signs of action regarding the same. Along with the PRC report declaration, the protesting teachers also raised demands of increasing the education allocation to 10% of the GDP, 100% funding of Government State and Central Universities and resisting the privatisation of Universities via granting autonomous status.
Rajya Sabha MP, D. Raja(CPI) also led a delegation of AIFUCTO and FEDCUTA Office Bearers to meet the HRD Minister on the day of the protest. The delegation also included the newly elected President of DUTA and FEDCUTA, Dr Rajib Ray, who said that the Minister assured of the disclosure of the PRC recommendations soon, but could not explain the delay. Mr Ray also said that such a move has been unprecedented because the PRC recommendations are to be made public every time. He also stressed the importance of a written document rather than verbal assurances, and that equal assistance must be provided to Central and State Universities.
Image Credits: National Herald