EARLY TIMES REPORT
JAMMU, May 22: The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir which has over 1.5 lakh youth with post-graduation or higher degrees hankering for jobs, the college faculty members have demanded enhancement of retirement age from 60 to 65 years.
A recommendation of their demand has been forwarded by one Advisor to Lieutenant Governor, which has invited strong criticism from the unemployed youth as well as contractual staff, who claimed that in the monthly salary of a senior faculty member, which accounts for over Rs. 2 lakhs, three new Assistant Professors could be engaged, which would reduce the financial burden on state exchequer as well as check the growing unemployment rate.
According to the recommendation letter vide D.O No. PS/Adv (F) 189-2020 forwarded by Advisor to Lieutenant Governor, Farooq Khan to Advisor KK Sharma, a reference to the representation submitted by the President of College Teachers Association to Advisor has been made.
It reads, “the enclosed representation made by President CTA regarding the enhancement in the age of superannuation of College Teachers of Jammu and Kashmir from 60 to 65 years to be at par with the Universities of other Union Territories is self-explanatory”. “I shall be grateful if you would kindly look into the issue and deal it on merit”, it concludes with signatures of the Advisor.
Criticizing the demand of College faculty as well as recommendations made for the retirement age’ enhancement, unemployed youth said that the unemployment rate of Jammu and Kashmir was higher than the national average, while as per latest report of Director Employment there were over 1.5 Lakh unemployed youth, who have post-graduation or higher degrees but no jobs.
“The minimum salary of a senior faculty member is over Rs 2 lakhs and in that amount three new Assistant Professors can be engaged. Moreover, at present around 80 college faculty members attaine superannuation every year but if the age would be enhanced, there would be no retirement for next five years and there would be no new posts against retirements”, an unemployed youth said, adding that at an average, the 80 college faculty members, who have been retiring, would be getting Rs 1.60 crores every month, while for an year, the state exchequer would have to shell out Rs 19.20 crores.
For the retirement age enhancement of five years, a faculty member would be getting Rs 120 lakhs as salary, apart from other perks.
At one hand the Higher Education department has been claiming that it has been facing scarcity of funds for paying the academic arrangement teachers but on the other, it has been increasing the age of college faculty, which would exhaust state exchequer as well as adding up to unemployment rate.
“Despite aware of the huge unemployment rate in Jammu and Kashmir, these college faculty members are demanding enhancement of retirement age, which speaks volumes about the self-centric faculty members, who have no sympathy with the unemployed youth”, another unemployed youth alleged, adding that maximum of these senior faculty members have been taking minimum classes but getting fat salaries and they are only concerned about their own benefits rather than larger good of the society.
The unemployed youth have appealed the Advisor to LG, KK Sharma to take sympathetic view towards the unemployed youth and reject the appeal of these “rich and self-centric” college faculty members.