Teachers’ mass leave paralyses Punjab colleges, universities

January 28th, 2009 - 5:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, Jan 28 (IANS) Academic activity was completely paralysed in colleges and universities across Punjab and Chandigarh Wednesday following a mass casual leave protest by teachers in the region.The Punjab Federation of University and College Teachers Organisation (PFUCTO) served a 10-day ultimatum to the Punjab government to notify the revised pay-scales for college and university teachers.

Hundreds of college and university teachers converged here to hold a protest rally. They are demanding increased pay from the state government as per the new scale announced last month by the University Grants Commission (UGC) and approved and notified by the union human resource development ministry.

Nearly 10,000 teachers in 170 private aided colleges, 54 government colleges and all five universities in Punjab and Chandigarh went on a one-day mass casual leave.

The strike affected over 200,000 students in higher educational institutions in the region.

“Eighty percent of funds will be released by the central government and the Punjab government has to contribute only 20 percent. Why is the government delaying that?” PFUCTO general secretary Jagwant Singh said to IANS.

“We have given the Punjab government 10 days to implement the new scales. Otherwise, we will intensify our agitation,” Singh said.

Teachers in Punjab pointed out that the state governments in neighbouring Haryana and Himachal Pradesh are already in the process of implementing the new pay scales for teachers.

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