Over 60 Panjab University teachers to retire Saturday

October 31st, 2008 - 11:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, Oct 31 (IANS) More than 60 faculty members, including professors and readers, of Panjab University (PU) will retire Saturday as the Punjab and Haryana High Court Friday dismissed their petition to raise retirement age from 60 to 62, a university official said.”Senate of the university has already given a green signal to the issue of raising retirement age of teachers to 62. But the court’s ruling proved that the supreme governing body of the university has no autonomy of its own,” Sanjiv Tewari, public relations director of PU, said.

This issue of raising the retirement age was in focus for the last 3-4 years and the petition was lying before the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Friday’s ruling has spread a sense of dissatisfaction among the teachers of the university and many of them are now planning to move a fresh petition to the Supreme Court.

“If we look towards any good university like Oxford or Cambridge, a teacher can teach till he feels he is capable of doing justice to his profession. There are professors above the age of 70 in western universities who are still doing wonders in their job,” Shelly Walia, PU foreign students department dean, told IANS.

“The age limit for retirement in all the good universities of our country is 65. Then why this discrimination is made with PU? Here we have the best teaching talent and infrastructure available, then why this step-motherly attitude towards teachers?” Walia said.

A.D. Ahluwalia, professor in the department of Geology, said: “Even the universities in the states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan have increased the age limit for retirement. Then why not the rich state like Punjab, that claims its authority over PU, cannot raise the retirement age?”

“University Grants Commission (UGC) also recommends that the retirement age for the teacher should be 65. However, the sudden retirement of so many teachers will create a teaching vacuum in the university and only the students will be at the receiving end of all this,” Ahluwalia said.

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