UoP teachers go on hunger strike over pending demands

Demonstrate before Collector's Office to press for exemption from NET and SET, payment of arrears

About 50 teachers from the University of Pune (UoP) sat on a one-day hunger strike from 7 am to 7 pm outside the District Collector's office yesterday to press for various demands.

In protest: Teachers sit on hunger strike opposite the Collector's Office
yesterday. Pic/Imzanglu Aier

Over 10,000 teachers from Pune University Teachers' Association (PUTA) and Pune University and College Teachers' Organisation (PUCTO) have demanded that the University Grants Commission (UGC) letter issued on August 16 and 26, 2009, which exempts teachers from the mandatory National Eligibility Test (NET) and the State Eligibility Test (SET), should be implemented.

The UGC has given a ruling that teachers who have been appointed between September 19, 1991, and April 3, 2000, will be exempted from the NET/SET, but teachers say the state government has not done anything about it.

The teachers are also yet to get their arrears, including 10-month cash arrears and arrears for which the Centre contributes about 80 per cent to the state government. They say the issue has been pending for the past five years.

"The UoP has set up different committees, including the Local Inquiry Committee (LIC), which will probe into all inconsistencies in all UoP departments. But the committee is non-functional and one person is appointed in a number of committees," said S P Lawande, president of PUCTO.

After the strike, the teachers will now boycott the assessment of BA, BCom, BSc, MA and MCom papers to protest against the government's indecision over implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission in many of the unaided colleges.

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