BANGALORE: For five years now, close to 2,000 retired university professors and college teachers have been running around several government offices to get their pension arrears, after the Central government recommended revision of University Grants Commission (UGC) pay scales for those who retired before January 1, 2006.
The state government is yet to implement the order that came from the Director of Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Atul Sirsikar, dated March 11, 2010. Based on the recommendations of the 6th Central Pay Commission, the Central government revised the pension structure of the Central government employees (university professors and teachers).
Prof K Siddagangaiah, president, Karnataka State Universities and Colleges Retired Teachers Association, has been running around pillar to post for the last 2 years for the implementation of the MHRD directive.
“According to the revised scale, all retired UGC professors are eligible to get pension under the revised pay scale of Rs 37,400-Rs 67,000 with academic grade pay (AGP). As of now, we receive pension from the state government under the old Rs 16,400-Rs 22,400 scale. The disparity between the two scales is large. We are only asking the government to implement the revised scale,” he told Express, adding that the files were currently in the chief minister’s office. He said 15 states had already implemented the Central government’s plea of revising minimum basic pension for retired teachers.
“Seven out of eight states under the BJP government have implemented the revised scale. Every time we approach the officials, we are told that we are not covered under the UGC scale at the time of retirement,” said Siddagangaiah.
“We are old and suffer from various health ailments. We cannot stage protests. We want to go the right and just way to get this done,” said a retired professor on condition of anonymity.
He added, “We are told that the state government is hesitant to implement this due to fund crunch. I don’t believe this. Total arrears, so far amounts to about Rs 7 lakh. Is this too much?”
When Express contacted Principal Secretary for Higher Education H Siddaiah, he said: “Arrears are a problem but I will have to look into this case in detail.”