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Financial concerns come in way of decision on retiring age of teachers
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 3
The state government is reluctant to implement a decision regarding increase in the retiring age of teachers and scientists working in the state agricultural universities from 60 years to 62 years as it would involve heavy financial liability.

The state-run agricultural universities are already facing financial crunch because of low allocation of funds by the states.

The Indian Council of Agricultural Research has asked all state agricultural universities to enhance the age of retirement of teachers to 62 years from 60 years. This order has become effective from October 31, 2003.

According to a letter of the ICAR (dated November 5, 2003), addressed to the Chief Secretaries of the states ‘‘every teacher/scientist in the state agricultural universities/central agricultural university, Imphal, who is governed by the UGC pay scales and service matters, will now retire from service on the afternoon of last day of the month when he/she attains the age of 62 years. However, teachers, whose date of birth is the first of the month, will retire from service on the afternoon of the last day of the preceding month on attaining the age of 62 years. The above decision for enhancement of age of superannuation from 60 to 62 years is applicable to those teachers/scientists who are still in service and also those who are due to retire on October 31, 2003. It will not be applicable to teachers/scientists who have already retired and those who are on extension, re-employment.’’

Enquiries revealed that Punjab Agricultural University authorities had written to the state government seeking the decision of the state government on the latest communication of the ICAR enhancing the age of retirement to 62 years.

The PAU authorities have written to the state government pointing out that the state government vide its notification of 21-4-99 while revising the pay scales of teachers of Punjab Agricultural University with effect from January 1, 1996 as per condition mentioned in its letter of March 3, 1999 of the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, did not agree to increase the age of superannuation of teaching personnel from 60 to 62 years. The notification of the state government revising the pay scales of teaching personnel was put up at the Board of Management of Punjab Agricultural University meeting(held on 14-5-99) which approved the revised pay scales keeping the age of superannuation at 60 years as contained in the notification.

While responding to a communication of PAU, the state government had asked it to assess the financial liability arising out of this decision.

Enquiries further reveal that 86 per cent of the total budget of the university is spent on the salary component of the teaching and non-teaching staff. The entire funding is done by the state government and the ICAR does not make any contribution to the same. The ICAR provides grants for development works and teaching facilities only.

Enquiries also show that none of the state agricultural universities, including Haryana and Himachal, have implemented the ICAR decision so far. The state governments are reluctant to implement the directive of the ICAR in view of the financial constraints.

As many as 32 teachers of PAU will retire by June 2004 and nine are due to retire in the month of January. There are 1254 teachers in the PAU at present.



Sandhu is Director of Ext Education 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 3
Dr Amrik Singh Sandhu, Additional Director Extension Education (Training), took over as the ninth Director, Extension Education, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana. As Additional Director, Dr Sandhu was in charge of KVK centres and the training given by the Department of Extension Education since November 9, 2001.

Born in Bhakna village, Dr Sandhu, son of Mr Mohinder Singh Sandhu, did his BSc (agri) from Panjab University, Chandigarh, in 1966. He did his MSc (horticulture) and PhD (horticulture) from Punjab Agricultural University in 1969 and 1979, respectively. Before joining the Directorate of Extension Education, Dr Sandhu remained Professor and Head of the Department of Horticulture.

Dr Sandhu developed different varieties of pear which brought a glorious change in the fruit level. He did an important work in developing the varieties of peach like ''shan-e-Punjab'', ''sharbari'', ''matchless'', ''safeda'', ''florida red'', etc.

Talking to journalists, Dr Sandhu said that the farm advisory service centres and KVK centres in the different districts of Punjab will be made more active so that the farmers and the scientists may be able to come close to each other. A special move will be started to popularise farm literature among farmers.

Welcoming the appointment of Dr Sandhu, Mr Baldev Singh Jhajj and Mr Hardev Singh Ghanaur, president and secretary of the Punjab Kisan Club, respectively, said that the club would be more active under his guidance.


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