Dimapur, 10 November (MTNews): The All-Nagaland Government College Teachers Association (ANGCTA) has submitted a detailed appeal to the Minister of Higher Education, Imna Along addressing critical issues related to the service of higher education in government colleges across Nagaland. The comprehensive document outlined key concerns and proposed reforms on the age of superannuation, professorship, PhD increment and Guest Faculty provision.
ANGCTA urged the state government to align the superannuation age for college teachers in Nagaland with the UGC guidelines, extending it to 65 years. The association emphasized the benefits of retaining experienced teachers to enhance knowledge transfer and contribute to research, especially in the nascent stage of higher education growth in the state.
The association also advocated for the removal of the existing ceiling on the number of individuals permitted to become a Professor (Stage 5) under the Career Advancement Scheme. Opening this provision without any ceiling, as specified in UGC Regulations 2018, Clause 6.4 B (IV), is seen as vital for retaining the best talent within institutions and promoting academic and research excellence.
ANGCTA highlighted the importance of reinstating the provision for advanced increments to PhD/MPhil and other higher qualifications. The restoration of this provision, as emphasized in UGC Regulations 2018 Clause 19, is seen as a crucial step to encourage teachers to pursue higher studies, thereby improving the overall academic output and attracting highly qualified educators to Nagaland.
The association underscored the need for provisions allowing guest substitute teachers and contractual appointments, particularly in situations of long-duration leaves such as maternity or study leaves. ANGCTA cited UGC Regulations 2010 and 2018, emphasizing the importance of filling all sanctioned posts urgently and opening provisions for guest faculty to address the shortage of teaching faculty in some colleges.
(Representation on Service of Government College Teachers)
Hon’ble Minister for Higher Education & Tourism
Government of Nagaland
The All-Nagaland Government College Teachers Association (ANGCTA), a collective of educators from Government colleges across Nagaland, humbly submit this representation to seek your kind attention on matters pertaining to the service of Higher Education in Government Colleges of Nagaland.
1. Age of Superannuation: The age of superannuation for teachers involved in classroom teaching in Central Educational Institutions has been enhanced to 65 years vide UGC Letter No. F.3-1/94(PS)(Vol.9) dated 4th April, 2007 (Annexure – 1) in accordance with the Government of India, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Department of Higher Education letter No.F.No.119/2006-U.II dated 23.3.2007 (Annexure – 2). This was implemented to meet the situation arising out of shortage of teachers, attract eligible persons to teaching career and retain teachers in service for a longer period. This recognizes the importance of retaining highly experienced teachers and research experts at their prime for the growth of higher education in India. In compliance with this letter, 7 states (Chhattisgarh Annexure -3, Madhya Pradesh Annexure-4, Jharkhand Annexure-5, Uttarkhand Annexure-6, Bihar Annexure-7, West Bengal Annexure-8 and Manipur Annexure-9) in India had implemented the 65 year of retirement age for university and college teachers and deliberation is going in other states for implementation. The age of superannuation for college teachers under Higher Education department in Nagaland is 60 years. It is pertinent to mention that the contribution of experienced senior teachers is a pressing need at present scenario of nascent stage of growth of higher education in Nagaland. Retaining teachers till the age of 65 years can enhance the knowledge transfer and progress in the research arena in higher educational institutions which is indispensable for the growth and development of our state. This will also attract talented and highly qualified persons from across the country that can impact the growth of higher education in Nagaland. Currently, as the colleges in Nagaland transition to implementation of the National Education Policy 2020, the need for senior experienced faculty as well as new recruit with higher qualifications is more pressing to face the new challenges. Therefore, it is imperative for the state government to implement the recommended age of superannuation at 65 years.
2. Professorship: Higher Education has a Career Advancement Scheme that allows for the placement of entry level Assistant professor (Stage 1) to Assistant Professor (Stage 2), to Assistant Professor (Stage 3) and further to Associate Professor (Stage 4) and then to Professor (Stage 5), only after serving at each stage for specified number of years subject to fulfillment of several requirements as specified under UGC regulations at each stage. At the time an individual is qualified to be eligible for Professor (Stage 5), the individual must have served for 15 to 17 years and acquired significant knowledge that befits one to contribute much higher quality teaching and research output that can benefit the institution and society at large. Placement to Stage 5 situates a teacher to increase their potential of guiding more research students and academic recognition to compete with their counterpart in the realm of research and knowledge output that can enhance the overall performance of an institution. A teacher placed at Stage 5 will not occupy any statutory or hierarchical or promotional post because a teacher placed at any higher stage will still occupy the same post. At present, the Nagaland HE Service Rule 2015 puts a ceiling on the number of individuals permitted to become a Professor at 1:10 Associate Professor ratio (Annexure-10). It is highly discouraging for one to perform at their best when a due share of placement based on one’s performance is not acknowledged through appropriate placement. This leads to the departure of most experienced teachers opting for better opportunities outside of the institution such as teachers opting for Principalship and/or applying to teach in other institutions with opportunities for further career advancements. Therefore, opening the provision for Professor (Stage 5) as specified in UGC Regulations 2018, Clause 6.4 B (IV) (Annexure-11) without any ceiling will facilitate retaining the best talent within the institution and promote academic and research excellence of a progressing college.
3. PhD increment: The UGC Regulations 2010 Clause 9 (Annexure-12) and the Nagaland Higher Education Service Rules 2015 under Clause 15 (Annexure-13) gives provision for advance increments to PhD/MPhil and other higher qualification. Recognizing the importance of maintaining the standards of Higher Education Institutions, the UGC Regulations 2018 Clause 19 (Annexure-14) continues to emphasize this provision. At present, this provision was nullified by P & AR O.M. No. AR-3/Gen-204/2009 dated Kohima the 17th June, 2014 (Annexure-15).
Currently, only 20% of the teaching faculty under Higher Education have PhD degree. Therefore, restoration of this provision will greatly encourage the teachers to pursue higher studies which will benefit the growth of quality academic output. Additionally, it will attract highly qualified teachers from other states that will enhance the overall growth and standard of higher education in Nagaland.
4. Guest faculty provision: Occasionally, inevitable situation so compels teachers to take leave such as maternity leave and study leave which are usually of long duration. This creates a long existing vacancy that limits the performance of the affected department. At present, substitution for teachers on leave is not permitted. However, such short handedness puts pressure on optimal performance compromising the quality of the academic institution. Provision for guest substitute teacher and contractual appointment are permissible according to UGC Regulation 2010, Clauses 8.4 and 13.1 (Annexure-16) and UGC Regulations 2018, Clauses 8.4 and 13.0 (Annexure-17). Additionally, some of the colleges in the department of higher education, Nagaland is facing shortage of teaching faculty below sanctioned posts. Therefore, filling up all sanctioned posts on an urgent basis of UGC Regulation 2018, Clause 12.2 (Annexure-18) and opening provisions for guest faculty in lieu of long duration leaves can reduce the pressure that arises due to shortage of teachers.
Therefore, as stated above, the undersigned on behalf of ANGCTA request your esteemed office to look into the matter for the interest of the Government College teachers and higher education at large.