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Increasing retirement age: A long term solution or just a make shift arrangement
01 Mar 2011

The Indian education system is facing acute shortage of faculties, particularly in higher education institutions. Various committees set up by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) along with several experts have put this figure around 40 – 50 percent. Now, MHRD following the advice of National Knowledge Commission wants to set up hundreds of institutions all over India but the idea seems to be taking more time in implementation due to the faculty crunch at the existing institutions.

According to several experts this problem can be fixed to some extent by increasing the retirement age of faculties. Taking note of it the University Grants Commission increased the retirement age of professors in central universities to 65 years. However, with education being in the concurrent list, many state governments have not yet raised the age bar of retirement of professors in state universities.

R.K. Kale, Vice Chancellor of Central University of Gujarat speaking to India Education Review on this issue said, “There is an acute shortage of the university and college teachers in India.  There are more than 45 percent vacancies in the University system. Further, every year around 75000 to 85000 additional teachers are required due to expansion of higher education and retirement of the teachers.  Therefore, there is need to increase the retirement age of the teacher. At the same time, there is also the need to recruit new teachers, otherwise it is going to make big crisis in the country.”

Some educationists believe that increasing the retirement age of existing professors will cut down the future prospect of young people who want to join the teaching profession. “Since the available vacancies are very high, it is not going to affect adversely the employment seekers. The Central Government has allocated sufficient fund for the higher education in the 11th Plan.  I do not see any financial constraint for higher education, at least for the central universities,” added Prof. Kale.

The number of central universities is very less as compared to the huge number of students taking admission in under graduate and post graduate courses across the country. Therefore, the problem will remain complicated until the state governments will also feel the need to increase the retirement age of professors.
Various teachers associations and unions have been demanding for uniformity in retirement age of professors all over the country. A ray of hope has started to emerge in past few months with some of the states bringing change in their education acts to increase the retirement age to 62 – 65 years.

Maharashtra has recently increased the retirement age of professors to 62 years and for principals it has been raised to 65 years for all the government aided and unaided colleges in the state. Similarly, Punjab and Jharkhand have also increased the retirement age of professors to 65 years. The retirement age of professors in Bihar has also been raised after a writ petition was filed in the Patna High Court.

Several other states are yet to take the decision. According to Pradip Narayan Ghosh, Vice Chancellor, Jadavpur University (JU) in West Bengal, “In JU, retirement age of professors is still sixty. Although, they can get re-employed at the same position till the age of 65. However they retire at 60 and they do not get the benefits of a regular employee after 60.Change in retirement age is a policy of the state government and presently there is no plan to change it. I believe the retirement age should be same for all the professors or academic staff of different institutions all over the country.”   

Some experts think that mere increasing the retirement age will not serve the purpose as the faculty should also be competent enough to hold the position. G. N. Qazi, Vice Chancellor, Jamia Hamdard University says, “Given the fact that quality teachers are not available in numbers, as a result more than 30 percent vacancies remain unfilled in most of the prestigious institutes of higher learning. Increase of retirement age would be a temporary relief. However, there should be a provision to screen the quality teachers at 60 years of age. The retirement age for teachers should be uniform throughout the country.”

“As per state govt order, it is 62 years. University cannot do anything. I am personally in favour of 65 years and we have to increase it to bridge the demand supply gap in the higher education space,” said Prof. BC Mal, Vice Chancellor of CSV Technical University.

Even these faculties will retire after some time creating again a dearth of efficient teachers. There is a need to attract good talent from the young generation who are more attracted towards more lucrative career options in multinationals. Renowned institutions like IITs and IIMs are preparing professionals for the corporate sector. Major steps are required to encourage research-based activities to produce good teachers and researchers.

There is also the need to develop a better atmosphere to allow teaching staff more allowances, freedom to enter into consultancy arrangements besides providing them attractive perks such as housing facilities. Flexibility in appointment, in age limit and qualification is also necessary to ensure quality faculties. We cannot prevent the faculty shortage from becoming the “Achilles’ heel” of Indian higher education system without implementing these measures.
        


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pranab kumar roy
15 Aug 2011

IT is very unfortunate that decrease the retirement age of sports officers of iits from 62 to 60, but IIM,NIT,IIS,still retirement age is 62 as per existing MHRD notification.Think over discrimination.

pranab kumar roy
15 Aug 2011

IT isvery unfortunate that decrease the retirement age of sports officers of iits from 62 to 60, but IIM,NIT,IIS,still retirement age is 62 as per existing MHRD notification.Think over discrimination.

Krishna
22 Jun 2011

The Indian education system is facing acute shortage of faculties, particularly in higher education institutions. Hence to solve the problem retirement age has to be increased. - this is the baseless argument. Government has not taken steps to fulfill the vacancies. In karnataka no vacancies has been filled up for the past several years. Every year thousands of youngsters are coming out of the Universities with new vigor. But the system has become so rotten that they have to work in the College for paltry salary for their survival. No chance of regularization. Colleges are full of non approved young teachers and approved Professors in minority numbers but drawing almost fifty to eighty thousand rupees salary. Incomparable. I do agree that Professors has to be retained. Their knowledge should be utilized. They have to be retained in the Profession up to 65years. But at the same time, youngsters should be accommodated - new posts had to be created. They have to be filled up. If it is not, then it is simply the earning Professors do earning. This will ruin the education setup further. Hope Government will do something at least.
Dr APR

Er. Daya Sagar
11 May 2011

No please. Age expectancy increase is no logic. Believe it the people in general have lost faith in truthfullness of government employees ( even government employees do not trust their colleagues as regards delivery of services ). The enforcement agencies and the vigilance agencies have failed to weed out the inefficient, the corrupt and non performer employees due to the service rules and constitutional safeguards provided for the government servants ( so that they are not easily exploited by the political bosses). A minister / MLA/ MP is subjected to almost a summary trial by people after 5 years and could be removed ( here too debates are going on for more stringent measures). But the government employee is not subjected to any such trial and is a long term link of the government machinery. In the army the officers are filtered by a BOARD from Col Level but in IAS/ IPS /IFS/ like services once you take entry YOU move UP with time only. So there is instead utmost need for devising some check mechanism. It is true that experience need be used but why increase the retirement age in a blanket manner for all the employees. Experience has shown that many employees who get involved in cases are later set free during legal / admionistrative process. If the retirement age is further increased to 62 years , such elements would further stay in. So the need is to :: (i) rather reduce the retirement age to 50 years max. There after a summary review could be conducted , those keeping fit health ( particularly for , police security forces , revenue departments ), having clean unquestioned service career with efficiency and whose experience could be particularly needed could be given reemployment for two years on contract basis (ii) such contract employments could be carried till the age of 62 years in exceptional cases (ii) this way the bad / inefficient/ corrupt / non performers would be removed from services ( though late) without legal implications (iii) this will provide opportunities to the job seeking youth , motivate the government servants to adopt truthful behaviour , encourage the performing government servants (iV) no working government officer /retired government officer ( atleast with in two years after retirement) should be posted in a Commission / Constitutional body (v) the governmet employees should be de barred from joining any priviate company with in two years of retirement from the Government service (vi) no doubt I am of the opinion that the Central Government should reconsider restoring the retirement pension to Government employees who have been appointed after 2003 ( no employees union / association has so far objected to this action of the government since those who were holding the reins of associations/ unions in 2004 were not affected with the decision of the government to discontinue regular pension for those appointed after 2003 ). The contributory pension scheme is no match to EARLIER REGULAR PENSION ( think a government employee getting pension of Rs.30000 per month , it worth interest on a FDR of 40,00000 ( forty Lac ).
Any how there is need for a mass movement for checking the government from exploiting the people simply for votes ( since we have a very large population associated with the families of the government employees), draining the exchequer through payments to the non performing government service sector and unchecked extension of service / monetary benefits to Government employees like regular increase in DA, Wages in view of rising prices but do nothing to check the undue rise in living costs for the common man ………………………….. Daya Sagar 09419796096

MUKESH KUMAR MISHRA
31 Mar 2011

In our opinion the UGC and MHRD ,New Delhi have to urge and force to the state Government to follow up the guide lines according to UGC, As the UGC cover its 80% of total Budget and State Government only 20%, and only for 20% the State Government officer usually delay and not supporting this decision in their State by the same, All most all the Central Government officer draw their 6th pay commission salary and dues, then why they delay in case of University? These show the State Government policy for Higher education,

e,g, The Bihar Government is now showing their development work and projects
and demanding the central Funds, But in case of Universities Teacher's Retirement from 62 to 65, Hon'ble Nitish Kumar is Not favor for Teachers ,he does not want this facilities for their State and always talking about Development ?????? and Same as in Jharkhand the HRD Secretariat unless harass the University Teachers. High Court is not option ,,,,,,, Decision of Court and the State Government does not follow the court decision and move to against the court decision to Supreme Court.

Simple thing State Government is the institution which have to support the Higher education system in their State as the Central Govt and UGC is bearer its total budget i.e. 80 + 20 %. So State Government 's responsibilities is to follow up the UGC Decisions .

The university teachers usually gain lot of experience and research know-how through out his life time and at the late phase they can deliver their aptitude to the nation in a more developed way and this is what required for the developing country like India. So retirement age of University teachers should be atleast 65 years throughout the country and facilities of research should be enhanced.

MUKESH KUMAR MISHRA

MUKESH KUMAR MISHRA
31 Mar 2011

Kindly confirm the actual case in Jharkhand ? The Jharkhand High Court raised the
retirement age of professors in Jharkhand from 62 to 65 after a writ petition was filed in the Jharkhan High Court. But the State Government HRD is not agree by the same,

Our NGO also demand the retirement change in Jharkhand education acts to increase the retirement age to 62 – 65 years. So kindly inform me the actual position or Status " Punjab and Jharkhand have also increased the retirement age of professors to 65 years. "

MUKESH KUMAR MISHRA
SECRETARY GENERAL
KRITYANAND UNESCO CLUB
JAMSHEDPUR.

Sanjay Goel
25 Mar 2011

Fresh thinking requires empowerment of unconventional thinkers. Very often re-employed aged people (including those who retired from high positions at great places) want to secure few more years of working life without dipleasing their bosses and hence are champions of conventional thinking. Nothing fundamentally wrong in having healthy older people around. However, they must not become the only dominent voice in any organisation. They should facilitate rather than rule the youngsters.

Vikram Karve
25 Mar 2011

The need of the hour is young modern enthusiastic tech-savvy teachers with professional experience. What we do not need are over-aged bookish teachers who are well past their prime, do not update themselves and live in the past and who are quite clueless about what is going on outside their academic world cocoon.
For this two things need to be done:
1. The requirement of Ph.D. for a teaching job must be done away with immediately and industrial, professional, corporate, design and research experience must be accorded more importance than a mere bookish Ph.D. This aspect is more relevant in professional education like Engineering, Management, Law etc.
2. The retirement age of teachers must be reduced to 60 years. This will help get rid of the "deadwood" and, if required, competent teachers who are above 60, can be invited to teach as visiting faculty.
Also, the so-called shortage of teachers seems to be quite inflated and needs close scrutiny by examining actual teaching hours and teaching load vis-a-vis prevalent industrial norms. We also see many "teachers" in bureaucratic and corporate positions who spend most of their time performing administrative and managerial work and hardly doing any teaching, but still enjoy the benefits of being a teacher which are much more than their bureaucratic counterparts. Teachers must focus on teaching and research, nothing else.

Dr. B. S. Chaudhary
15 Mar 2011

This profession requires th euniform regulations on all India basis. When the guidelines are uniform throughout India for the promotions and selections, why there should be different yardsticks for the age of superannuation? IF MHRD goes with dissociating 80% grant to the age of superannuation(composite package), most of the states will not enhance the retirement age.

V R Nanjangud
11 Mar 2011

This shortage of faculty is artificially created by wrong policies. There is no recruitment for teaching posts for more than a decade. This not only will create vacuum at the top, but also results in a cultural gap between young and old teachers. It is high time that recruitment of teachers takes place continuously as and when needed and not in bursts.There is big threat of poaching by foreign universities, if they are permitted to start their operations. This will upset faculty strength at many institutions.

Pushkar Kanvinde
10 Mar 2011

Rather than increasing the age one must look at availability of qualified personnel and making teaching an attractive career.

Present recruitment norms for Associate professor and above posts in Professional education are made without looking at ground realities. For example in Architecture colleges (total 180+ in number) you have approx 700+ vacancies at higher post that call for Ph D as a essential qualification as per UGC norms. The fact remains that we do not have even 150 people in India who are PhD and even if you include Indian candidates registered and pursuing PhD in India and abroad still the number does not 300. So at least for next whole decade these positions will remain vacant.
It only means that the teachers:students ration will not be meet and the colleges will not be able to provide desired quality education.
Extending retirement age will only keep a few teachers in position at posts that are occupied but can never help induction of new teachers.

Tapash Dasgupta
09 Mar 2011

The post of teachers at the university level should not be considered just like a job in other areas. If our nation is to be progressed and youth are to be well trained to keep pace with the advancement, serious thought are required regarding not only to increase of retirement age of University teachers but also increasing facilities of research at the university. It is good the central govt and UGC have realised the issue. But many state govts have neglected the issue mainly they do not realize the imporatnce of development. The university teachers usually gain lot of experience and research know-how through out his life time and at the late phase they can deliver their aptitude to the nation in a more developed way and this is what required for the developing country like India. So retirement age of University teachers should be atleast 65 years throughout the country and facilities of research should be enhanced.

hari ramachandran
09 Mar 2011

While retaining teachers past 60 will address the shortfall of skilled teachers in the country, it creates another problem. Systems become very rigid and conservative when they are dominated by old people. If teachers at the age of 65 or 70 are the decision makers, I think universities and colleges will cease to be adaptive exactly at the moment when we need them to be very agile. The current generation of students is very different from previous generations of students and we have to take risks and change our teaching strategies to reach them.

Departments dominated by old people are not going to take risks.

One possible answer could be that people beyond 60 can remain in the system but they do not hold positions of power. They can only teach. That way, only those with a passion for teaching will remain and perhaps that will be an added bonus.

Prof.Koshy Ninan
09 Mar 2011

It is an irony that judges retire at 62/65, All India service personnel retire at 60, politicians retire normally at 90 and the poor teachers who have taught them are compelled to retire at 55, at least in Kerala.

Dr. B. S. Chaudhary
09 Mar 2011

The issue is quite apt and I am of the opinion that the age of retirement should be uniform throughout the country. Even if the education is on the concurrent list, both the centre and state can make the rulings but in case of conflict, centre ruling will prevail. More over, it is in a way violation of article 14 of the constitution which states "The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India". If a person is serving in Haryana, Punjab or in Maharashtra, how does it matter? They should be treated equally. The MHRD letter dated 31.12.2008 has been approved by the parliament; it should therefore be of binding nature for the states. It is astonishing to note that in Self Financing Institutions the age of superannuation is 70 years. Why this issue of employment to younger does not arise there. Moreover even the governments of same political party are taking different stands on this issue. The fact of the matter is that in M.P., Bihar, Jharkhand, J&K (Professors) and all the Central Institutes involved in teaching, have enhanced the age of superannuation to 65 years, U.P., Maharasthra, Delhi to 62 years but the more prosperous states like Punjab, Haryana are still having a wait and watch policy in this regard. The central govt. should encourage the states to implement the MHRD notification dated 31.12.2008 along with the UGC guidelines dated June 30, 2010 uniformly through out India in the Institutions of Higher Education. Even if we consider this as the prerogative of the state to increase or not the age of retirement but looking to the uniformity and avoiding the feeling of discrimination, all the states should go ahead with the uniform policy of enhancing the age of retirement to that of 65 years.

Dr. K. Mohandas
09 Mar 2011

Paucity of faculty is plaguing every branch of higher education. In health sciences, particularly in Kerala, the problem is compounded by the almost explosive expansion of professional colleges in the past decade and the retirement age in government colleges remaining at 55 (except in medical colleges, where the age was raised to 60 recently). While the current shortage needs to be addressed by raising the age of retirement and sharing human 5resources through clustering, an all out effort must be launched, and launched NOW, to increase the quantum and quality of teachers.

Dr.C.Rajendran
09 Mar 2011

I think that in the matter of retirement, there should be a policy applicable to all Higher Education Institutions across the country

K.A.Narayanankutty
09 Mar 2011

Reason for degradation of higher education is due to degradation of school education. Salary of these teachers are lower than uneducated employed youths. Also, we should divert some of these aged experts to secondary education. Of course with equivalent salaries and benefits. Also we should have a very serious look at the salaries of school teachers to attract deserving ones.

Dr. Indra Kumar Khanna
09 Mar 2011

With increased average age of Indians and better health care, the teaching faculty can continue up to 70 years, if not 75 years. Medical check up every 2 years after 65 years may be made mandatory. Higher education, specially professional education is facing a lot of problem because of non availability of senior and experienced staff. I strongly recommend an increase in retirement age of faculty.

PKDutta
09 Mar 2011

The increase of retirement age of College/University teachers is not the at all solution measure. The propaganda of suitable faculty crunch is a vague term. None of us thinking the future of youth generation who are profoundly seeking for teaching job and they have the tremendous merit of having good teachers/researchers. We have the serious lack of implementing the recruitment drive of all categories. In my personal views, the retirement age must be kept upto 60 only. Only those having good track of service during the regular service should be given the opportunity for re-employment only.

Dr R K Singh
09 Mar 2011

Since most of the teachers in universities are physically and mentally fit even after 65, there is nothing wrong in keeping in in job. It will rather help the system if the willing teachers continue to work even after 65.

--R.K.Singh