Teachers-turned-MPs/MLAs can now teach in colleges

University and college teachers, who have been elected or nominated to Parliament and the state Legislative Assemblies, can now continue teaching in higher education institutions and also take up research work, if they want.

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has agreed to allow such parliamentarians and legislators to continue with their teaching profession. 

The decision was taken by the higher education regulator at its last meeting, based on a reference from a Rajya Sabha committee.

The commission's decision may bring cheers to many of the teachers who have been elected to Parliament and the state Assemblies, and want to continue with teaching and research work simultaneously.

Parliament had at least 50 MPs from teaching background in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha before 2019 elections.

“The teachers who wish to continue teaching in the university departments or colleges after being elected or nominated as Members of Parliament (MPs) or Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) may be allowed to continue with the teaching and research work in the universities and colleges,” the commission resolved.

Such teachers would be treated as “on duty” when they attend the Parliament or state Legislature sessions, and also when they undertake any other parliamentary or state Legislative assignments, the commission added.

To ensure that the teaching work does not suffer due to the absence of such elected representatives of people in the institutions during the Session or their pre-occupation with other works, the higher education regulator has decided to ask the universities and colleges to consider assigning “appropriate work load” to them.

Such teachers will only take up teaching and research work at the higher education institutions. They would not be eligible to hold “any administrative positions/responsibilities” in the universities and colleges during their term as MPs and MLAs, the higher education regulator has made it clear.

The MPs and MLAs continuing with their teaching and research work will also draw their salary from the respective higher education institutions.

“However, the admissible allowances may be drawn from the Parliament/State Legislature Secretariat. The issue relating to holding of the office of profit by (such) MPs/MLAs may be looked into by the respective Secretariat,” the commission noted in its decision.

University and college teachers who do not want to continue teaching and wish to take leave of absence during their term as MP or MLA will not lose their seniority or increments in the process, the commission clarified.

“In this case they will draw their salary from Parliament/State Legislature Secretariat,” it added.

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