The announcement of revised pay scales by MHRD is followed by UGC regulations which ensure facile implementation of the revised pay scales by providing guidelines on most vital aspects like minimum qualifications for new appointments, career advancement and other related issues. Hence its importance.
And the teaching community naturally takes keen interest in the final formulation of the regulations. This being the facilitating instrument between promise and realization, all the objectives of the pay revision hinge on the regulations and so widespread discussions must be held and great care is shown in giving shape to nationally gathered views. Clearly this is not the realm for undue haste. Nonetheless, the process of fine- tuning the regulations should not be frustratingly time consuming. However, that is what happened in 1998 when the formulation of regulations took almost two years to complete, for no justification, as no major changes were suggested at that time.
.It is now more than a year since the process of finalization of the regulations was commenced by the UGC. It is true that the 2008 pay scales revision involved fundamental changes and certain new features had been incorporated. The new schemes of Career Advancement contain major improvements over the previous package. Always quick to perceive pitfalls and adamant denials by some states, the leadership of AIFUCTO had been very careful from day one and kept demanding nation wide consultations. The UGC chairman accepted AIFUCTO's demand and arranged for meetings in Hyderabad, Pune, Kolkata and Delhi. The top leadership of AIFUCTO participated in all these meetings and strongly presented the case for just, equitable, realistic and inclusive regulations. Many leaders of AIFUCTO across the country took active part in brainstorming sessions and placed objective documents, born of years of experience, sound pragmatism and a rare commitment, before the Expert Committee of the UGC. While AIFUCTO was sincerely interested in ensuring academic accountability of the teachers, theoretical stand-points as well as empirical evidences were together presented highlighting the ethos of equity, excellence and extension as the hallmark of envisioned higher education sought to be brought about after satisfying the instruments of change – namely the teachers.
The fact is that AIFUCTO showed the necessary vigilance expected of a mature organization, ever since the Expert Committee was formed and placed no less importance to the issue of regulations as compared to pay scales since this is going to determine whether teachers would get the advanced pay bands after the completion of stipulated period of service. The interests of thousands of junior teachers and future generations are to be protected. The task is by no means easy, but AIFUCTO has shown extreme patience while trying to counter some arguments that emanate from lack of knowledge of ground reality and an ivory tower perception.
A number of clauses prepared by the Expert Committee were unequivocally opposed and rejected by AIFUCTO as these were either mechanical in nature or simply lacked the logical basis or both. Further, the provisions of quantification and uncalled for interference in the autonomy of academic world were strongly opposed. The Draft regulations disregarded the ground reality obtaining in our country and failed to demonstrate a scientific character essential for such a highly diversified, pluralist and unevenly developed higher education system.
It is gratifying that a number of important changes proposed by the AIFUCTO were incorporated in the final recommendations of UGC sent to MHRD .The leadership of AIFUCTO wants further changes to be made by the MHRD in line with the suggestions advanced by it so that the regulations truly prove to be scientific, justified, equitable, realistic and inclusive. Regulations of such nature alone can only fulfill the objectives of pay revisions and strengthening the higher education for which AIFUCTO leadership is working relentlessly. We hope MHRD will address to all these aspects and suggest necessary changes.