Faculties of govt degree colleges told to repay arrears

 University Grants Commission (UGC). File photo

Several faculties working with government degree colleges in the state drawing University Grants Commission (UGC) scale are in trouble again, as the Department of Collegiate Education has asked for the repayment of arrears amount paid to them.

This applies to over 600 faculties appointed between January 1, 2006 and March 31, 2010, at various government degree colleges in the state. Arrears amounting to Rs 22 crore, that was paid to them, was objected to by Finance Department after the UGC stated that those appointed after 2006 were not eligible for the arrears.

The issue was raised in the year 2017 when faculty members raised an objection and staged a protest boycotting evaluation work. The teachers were even offered three instalments to pay back the amount. But following the representation by teachers, then government had stalled the payback process.

After two years, the department has again issued a circular asking the faculties to repay the arrears amount drawn. And deputy directors of respective districts are asked to submit a detailed report on the same.

Background

UGC revises the pay scale for faculties once in 10 years. In 2006, the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations were resulted in handing out Rs 1,000 crore as arrears to degree college teachers in Karnataka which covers, professors, assistant professors, librarians and physical education instructors. But as per the circular issued by the department, those who joined after January 2006 were not eligible to receive the arrears. But the arrears were paid even to them.

However, following the UGC direction, the department has ordered faculty members to return the amount they received between January 1, 2006 and March 31, 2010. The department offered the faculties three instalments to repay the arrears in 2017. However, the government put on hold the circular asking lecturers to repay the arrears following the protests.

Not just the arrears, the department even asked the teachers to pay back the dearness allowance (DA) paid to those appointed between January 1, 2006 to December 23, 2019, while receiving arrears. Following objection raised by the Finance Department for wrong calculations while calculating the DA amount, the Department of Collegiate Education has directed those who got the benefits to return the same in 10 instalments.

"The arrears have to be calculated only on the basic pay. But in this case, while giving arrears, they calculated the same even on DA, HRA and CCA along with basic pay. Now we need to recover the same," explained a senior official of the department. 

Prof Prakash, president, K'taka Govt College Doctorate Teachers' Association:

How can they ask us to pay back as it is already paid and utilised by faculties? We demand the government to withdraw the circulars. If they put pressure on us, we will approach the court.

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