Is raising retirement age of profs a solution to faculty crunch or a threat to prospects of young talent?
24 Aug 2012

The Government of India has proposed the state governments to increase the retirement age of professors at state universities to 65 years. Education being in their concurrent list, the state governments now has to decide upon the issue as the centre has already increased the retirement age of professors in all the central universities to 65 years, two years back.  The Centre has also decided to help the state governments in clearing out the arrears to implement the sixth pay commission.

Even before the Centre came out with this proposal, Maharashtra had increased the retirement age of its state professors last year to 62 years; Punjab had raised the bar to 62 years for teachers teaching in medical colleges and Madhya Pradesh being the only state which has increased it to 65 years in line with Central Universities. In Tamil Nadu, the Teachers Association has been demanding the retirement age to be increased to 62 from 58 years while there are several other state governments who have also increased the retirement age but in most of the states it is still 58 years.

The teaching community feels that it is not only good the teaching community but for the entire higher education sector, as there is huge shortage of faculty in state universities. On the other hand there is a section of people who believe that it would mar the prospects of young and talented people from entering the profession. 

Is raising the bar a solution:

S.K. Singh, Professor, A.N. College, Patna, speaking on the issue, said, “All of us are aware of the fact that there is acute shortage of qualified and experienced faculty in the country which is almost close to 40-50 per cent. There are proven record of experienced faculty members being capable of delivering with commitment even at the age of 65-70 barring very few, hence the age of retirement for teaching community should be 65 years.”

S.S. Yadav, Professor, Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapith, said, “The people in this profession who attain the age of 60 or 58 years have been working here for at least three decades and they should be retained as they are people with experience, knowledge and wisdom. We should let them continue with their mission of teaching and research if India has developed as a knowledge society. There are people whose knowledge and energy are similar to a young person of 30 years of age so there is no point in retiring them at 58 or 60 and the state governments should immediately implement it.”

M. Panigrahi, Professor at N O University, was of the view that, “It is matter of quality not the quantity and the people who are in the profession of teaching should get the extension as they certainly gain knowledge and become experts of their subject. The university and state government should also appoint young people and the older ones will be certainly of use in helping the young people learn the nuances of teaching and research from them. The state governments are not implementing it because they do not have adequate money for education and the central government should help them in this as it is a matter of the future of nation.” 

A threat to prospects of young talent:

Dr. A. Jayakumar, Associate Professor, Dept. of Commerce, Periyar University, says, “Increasing retirement age is not a positive move since it will affect the chances of youngsters entering the profession. However the senior professors’ services may be utilised by seeking their services on hourly basis and a decent honorarium may be worked out with the help of educationist.”

Dr. K. Sreeramulu, Professor of Biochemistry, Gulbarga University, said, “I totally oppose to increase the retirement age of teachers under the existing conditions. The existing system does not discriminate productive and unproductive teachers; hence it is not worth to increase the age to 65. Any attempt to increase the retirement age will further boost the unproductive teachers. In the present system quality is neither given importance nor recognised. We manipulate any kind of system and unproductive teachers will be at the forefront. If you introduce any rigorous assessment system, it would be diluted either by authorities through corruption or politics. Self evaluation is required for anything to success; mere increase of age will not at all help to improve our teaching and research at the universities and colleges.”

One of the Professors associated with University of Kerala, on condition of anonymity, opined, “One who joins the University service, does not want to leave the service. There exist many who are qualified in the society and want to come to the University service. Allow a teacher to continue in the service up to the age he prefer if and only he is producing at least two to three articles in referred journal or books by reputed publishers. But, do not allow anyone to continue in the service without minimum output after 50s. Majority of the teachers in India, Professorship is a termination point, where the productivity ends.”

The Takeaway:

The issue is no doubt debatable and it would be more appropriate if the retirement age is uniform across the states as there is no logic behind respective state deciding on the age limit for the retirement. A few argue whether there should at all be an age limit to retire, while others argue that retirement age limit ensures that that qualified get employed and promoted. People also believe that age limit for retirement should be left to the respective universities, which would decide looking at the pros and cons. As once the age limit is fixed by the respective university, it cannot be changed very frequently.



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Sanjay Goel
22 Aug 2013

As long as a balance between experience and innovative spirit can be found and their talent can be academically used to develop and nurture new ideas, engaging some retired professors can be very useful. However, when experience tends to overpower innovation and slow down innovation and development of new leadership, it should better be avoided.

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18 May 2013

The article is good to read and worth sharing

09 Dec 2012


Dr.Veena Ahire
22 Nov 2012

Although the UGC has recommended increase in age of retirement,and the Govt.of Maharashtra has issued a GR to its effect , the bureaucracy is creating a lot of hurdles , like putting conditions, delaying decisions,refusing payments etc.

20 Sep 2012

Rules are laid before playing the games, so new rule if any made should be applied to new recruits. Administrator have stopped the regular recruitment so it should be traced back to find the culprit and punished. Put education on the top priority with teacher area development fund like MP area development fund and you will find teachers lab will brewing more teacher and self sufficiency. Think in terms of tenure appointment with retiring professor managing a project to fund the self salary and contributing the academic institution with academic assignment. What is the problem? Institute infrastructure is used which is accounted in project work.

K V R Murthy
19 Sep 2012

The issue of age of superannuation of teachers in colleges and Universities : 58-60-62-65. One should be realistic that the college teachers who did not have any higher qualifications expect the post graduation when they joined as lectures should be retired at 58 only. The teacher who is in the College and or University having Ph.D whose contribution to research is minimum should be retired at 60. Who as an Associate Professor with some research back ground and guided Ph.Ds (at least two ) should be allowed to continue upto 62 years. Who is a professor having guided minimum 5 students for Ph.D should be continued upto 65. If one is expecting that experience is only criteria for retirement many young dynamic and having good research potential will be deprived of opportunity.

Dr. K V R Murthy
Baroda University Teachers Association (BUTA)

Ezra John
11 Sep 2012

Raising the retirement bar can never be a solution to tackle the faculty crush in Indian Universities. It is also an acceptable fact that now a days students do not wish to join teaching as a career due to low salary packages. In fact those few opting for it prefer a more secured 'sarkari' lifestyle (not to forget that exceptions are always there) with, unfortunately, no innovative teaching methods for the young students. I believe that in order to tackle the faculty crunch, authorities should develop good educators’ pool by inviting faculties from abroad and also by offering good competitive remunerations + incentives to the local young teaching talents so that new educators enthusiastically fill the positions of the retired professional teachers. Also the retired experienced faculties should be called from time to time to train the young professionals. A complete harmony can certainly bring brilliant results in the higher education sector.

Dr. Dipak Kumar Bose
31 Aug 2012

Retirement age should be increase up to 65 in the State University as like in the Central University, because the appointment criteria is same retiremenet criteria should be same other wise it is an discrimination with civilized community after 66 years of indipendence. I want to also say that the first appointment age bar may be abolish.

PH Patil
30 Aug 2012

No, those who are fit medically ,though the age is reaching to 80,as manmohanji, and atalji, there only benifit to new generation of such professor. Also it is benificial to society too, as number of senior working minds are protected, to do the work up to last breath of fitness willingly.
PH Patil
Institute of Tech, Kuran,

Dr.Humayoon Kabir
29 Aug 2012

In most of the universities the vacancies of faculty in various cadre are to be filled, so that the young and energetic talents will get ample opportunities and the shortage can be rectified. The retirement age should not be increased beyond 62 years.

Hiren Joshi
29 Aug 2012

The retirement age in the colleges and universities must be same through out the country. The central government should remove the discrepancy. The 62 years of age is the best optimum point to arrive at. There should be centralized system to reappoint retired teachers for tenure of 5 years as emeritus teachers through standard procedure to compensate faculty shortage. The central and state governments are unnecessarily making the issue complicated.

Indrajit kumar
28 Aug 2012

The retirement age university teachers should not be increased because most of the senior teachers at the verge of retirement are indulged in ill politics.

Bhaskara R Ch
28 Aug 2012

I personally feel that, increasing the retirement age may not solve the problem permanently, unless there should be some periodical recruitment process. The administration or Govt. should have a vision or proper plan for recruitment of faculty in to all the educational institutions. There should be a periodical recruitment of faculty members to maintain the sanctioned strength. Because of different local, legal and political reasons, Administrations are not able to carryout recruitment precess periodically, which resulted into serious faculty crunch over the period of time. Increasing the retirement age of the faculty may relieve the administration from immediate impact, but it will repeat the same after five years, if proper steps were not taken to solve the issue permanently. Now, administrations should think, how to solve the issue permanently by utilizing the services of the senior faculty members.

28 Aug 2012

retirement should be reducedt to 58 so that the youngsters are given opportunity to get into teaching positions ! One senior professor retired is equivalent to 4 Asst.Professors appointed and these 4 will teach more number of hours with the same salary of that old retired professor. The new youngsters will have more new ideas. But the old professors have the same old notes of past 30 years and are never interestred to learn new subjects and new theories.

28 Aug 2012

Prof Koria has made an extremely useful suggestion. Retiring faculty from IITs can be very helpful in imparting quality education in private engg colleges which these institutes cannot access otherwise. It will need some initiative on the part of retired faculty like Prof Koria to put efforts and make a list of all the faculty retired or retiring in the near future from all the IITs (which should not be very difficult) and make this updated list available to all the engg. college through some website. I am sure it will bring a very positive response, as I have seen how IIT faculty is frequently invited by private colleges for delivering lectures. This will also be a very good change for the retired faculty because they have already taught IIT students for a rather long time. Here they can use best of their experience and hard earned teaching skills to the advantage of these college students. Government in every sphere of activity is not a very viable proposition and it should best be done privately, by some dedicated individuals.

Satish C. Koria
28 Aug 2012

I was professor at IIT Kanpur for the past 27 years and now retired on June 2011. I have joined as a visiting professor at IIT Indore since july 2011. Whether we should increase the retiring age or not is always debatable. But one thing is certain, that is a mechanism should be evolved in which the experience of the faculty should be utiized. Today there are so many private engineering colleges have been opened but there is a scarcity of qualified teachers. Private engineering colleges are also contributing to train the students for engineering profession. In a country like ours we can not forget the role of private engineering colleges in engineering education.
Is it not possible that somehow a mechanism is evolved where the expertize and experience of the retired faculty can be used for the benefit of the private engineering college students. Here a pool of retiring/ retired faculty can be formed which can help private engineering colleges. This way we may retain the retiring age and at the same time we would be using the experience of the faculty

28 Aug 2012

Teaching & Research are two different task. Why do our education system does not accept this fact? For Teachers, PhD should not be compulsary. In place of increasing the retirement age, it would better to build smart lecture rooms. Professors should take only Lecture classes, Associate Professors should take Lectures/Labs, Assistant Professors should take Lab/Tutorial classes and help Associate Professors in evaluation, preparation of manuals and other related academic work.
What is happening in our system- Professors, Associate Professors, Assistant Professors, all are taking Lecture/Lab/Tut. at different salary.
Most of the bright students are unable to enter in teaching because PhD is essential at entry level. They are busy in getting the PhD.
Frankly speaking there is no shortage of teachers in the country. It is created/projected by advisors by making PhD essentials at entry level so that retirement age can be increased.

Chinnaiya Namasivayam
27 Aug 2012

Nothing wrong to increase the retirement age to 65 yrs in the univ depts. I agree with the Profs of Kerala and Gulbarga Univs. The question is productivity whether he is above or below 60 yrs. How many faculty members in the univ below 60 are productive? The unproductive young faculty are enjoying their retirement even before 45 yrs, because they entered through the 'back doors'. After having entered the univ., they are like blind people trying to catch black cats, which are not there. What to do with such people? If that number is small, it can be ignored. But, unfortunately, that number is growing rapidly, esp. in Tamil Nadu State Univs in the past 3 yrs. They not only ruin themselves, but other good quality faculty(minority) also. Who is to blame? The selection committees are mostly influenced by the "Back door VCs", who allow the entry of low quality faculty members through the same "back door". If any selection committee member presses for meritorious candidates, he should be an outsider, otherwise he has to face the dire consequences from the back door VCs. Unless the top is meritorious and dynamic, nobody can save the rapidly deteriorating univ education. Who will bell the cat?

Ajitava Raychaudhuri
27 Aug 2012

The debate about retirement age results into one casuality- that is the issue of good teaching. It is worth pursuing whether teaching quality is severly affected over the past few years since younger faculty is forced to go for non-teaching activities more to garner more 'API' type scores. In the absence of a systematic process of students evaluation, how can one learn from the actual beneficiaries who is excellent in teaching and who is not? True, a simple extension of retirement age does not enhance quality of teaching, but neither is it ensured through simply recruiting new faces in the faculty. Afterall, we get our salary to impart good teaching to the students and they have a right to share their views. No doubt one needs to do research to keep up with the dynamics of a subject, but that should be not at the cost of careful and stimulating teaching in the classrooms. I am afraid this point is missed by the pro and anti groups and the quality curve of teaching is sloping downwards over time! It is an ominous sign for human capital formation for a prospective 21st century giant called "INDIA".

27 Aug 2012

i oppose the incrase in retirement age of college teachers. i want to ask how many teachers are there whoes achievement is excellent? there are a lot of teachers in colleges who even do not know how to start a computer. those who are sitting on top post they do not want to leave it. tommorow they will demand that a teacher should be continue till his death because he has experience. it is the bad luck of our country that these so called experienced people never like to quit. i want to ask, where is the shortage of new one? if government advertise a single vacancy in U.P., there are so many application for the post that governmetn can not decide what to do. so i am strongly against the increase in retirement age.

Jaspal Singh Aujla
27 Aug 2012

To say that we do not have good teachers for universities and other higher ecducational institutions available in Indian and that because of this 50% faculty positions are vacant in these institutions is absolutely wrong. Perahpas for self interest or otherwise we are misguiding ourselves. This is just an execuse. In our Army about 12000 officers positions are vacant whereas in NDA examination held on 19-8-2012 about 2.5 lac candidates appeared and they will select only 357. About 12 lac policemen positions are vacant in our counrtry in state police and parameltary forces. Whether we donot have the men/women to fill these vacancies. In our govt school we donot have teachers. Is is true that those are not available in the market.

27 Aug 2012

The issue of either increasing or decreasing the retirement age is quite subjective.I am of the opinion that simply increasing the retirement age without any condition will be a disastrous move.it is true that the very experienced professors of the educational system should be retained in view of the fact that there is definitely a shortage of this community in the country. At the same time new youngsters should come to this novel profession. So a compromise will be to retain only those teachers through a screening procedure and let the other group take rest . But this screening procedure should be very objective and should not be merely based on the fins and fancies of the employer. As anonymously mentioned by some Kerala University professor it should not be merely based on only on the basis of publication because i personally feel that the reason why a teacher should do research is that through that processes the teacher will be updated in his field of research and ultimately transfer that knowledge through his classes to the student community. But this principle seldom work in Indian universities because it seen that once a person becomes professor either he stops research or never go to class even if he was a good researcher. he may be taking up big big research projects worth of crores ,flying from south to north,east to west attending several scientific meetings .His classes will only be engaged by his research scholars/post docs. So the benefit of him doing research is not reaching the students which means that that research is a waste.So a very objective and scientific frame work should be adopted and those pass through this frame work only should be allowed to continue up to 65 or even 70 and all the other mediocres should be send home at 58 .
Baby Chakrapani,Associate professor,C ochin university of Science and technology,Kerala

27 Aug 2012

The problem will not solve even if the retirement age of faculty is increased. More holistic approach is necessary to draw more talent into teaching profession. Govt. should initiate steps to make teaching an attractive and a profession with high respectable status. To meet immediate demand competent retired professor can be hired on temporary basis as visiting professor with teaching load alone.

S.M. Saqquaf
27 Aug 2012

It is highly condemnable act to rise the retirement age of only one sect of professionals. It is said that there exists a crunch of teaching faculty. Can any one explain it to me where there is no crunch for other cadres? It is equally difficult to get the desired experienced persons at any given instant of time. Can you get an experienced technician, an experienced, mechanic, an experienced engineer, an experienced administrator at a given instant of time. Then why the retirement age of teaching professionals only be raised?

It is suggested that the retirement age of all Government employees be made common through out the nation. There should be a common retirement policy for all employees whether they are serving in State Govt. or Central Govt., for all sects of employees. This crunch has been created by the Govt. by allowing MNCs to operate in a developing nation like India and they are trying to bring divide among the sects of employees by bifurcating them into teaching and non teaching. This is purely a British policy but not of Indians to divide and rule.

Jaspal Singh Aujla
27 Aug 2012

To say that we do not have good teachers for universities and other higher ecducational institutions available in Indian and that because of this 50% faculty positions are vacant in these institutions is absolutely wrong. Perahpas for self interest or otherwise we are misguiding ourselves. This is just an execuse. In our Army about 12000 officers positions are vacant whereas in NDA examination held on 19-8-2012 about 2.5 lac candidates appeared and they will select only 357. About 12 lac policemen positions are vacant in our counrtry in state police and parameltary forces. Whether we donot have the men/women to fill these vacancies. In our govt school we donot have teachers. Is is true that those are not available in the market.

27 Aug 2012

Retirement age of teacher should be at least 67 years and maximum 70 years. Simultaneously, entry age should be withdrawn. Those people are coming to academics , they have to spend long time in education and research. They are completing 3 year bachelor degree , 2 years master degree , 2 year M.Phil degree and 5 years PhD degree and finally to get a assistant professorship job, they need to wait up to 35-40 years age. Retirement age of other department should not be compared with retirement age of College/university teachers. Alternatively, option may be given that a teacher will serve teaching post for the period of maximum 30 years and it should be counted from the joining date. For example, if a person join as Assistant Professor at the age of 30 years, his retirement age should be 60 years, on the other hands if a person join teaching position at the age of 40 years , his retirement age should be 70 years (70 should be maximum age for retirement). I think, it will justify those people who are spending lot of time in research and then joining as teacher,. Off course, a good researcher may act as high skilled teacher compared to without research experiences. It is time to consider the system in some flexible and rational manner giving justice to young researcher those are coming in teaching profession after spending a lot of time in research.,

Dr R.L.Bhardwaj
27 Aug 2012

Teachers enters the profession late after attaining the higher degrees like PhD.They get less time to deliver the maximum they can.They can deliver more at the age of even 70. so in the universities age of retirement should not be less than 65.At the age of 60 professors treasure of knowledge,so it should be used for more years i.e up to the age of 65 at-least.

Dr R.L.Bhardwaj
27 Aug 2012

Teachers enters the profession late after attaining the higher degrees like PhD.They get less time to deliver the maximum they can.They can deliver more at the age of even 70. so in the universities age of retirement should not be less than 65.At the age of 60 professors treasure of knowledge,so it should be used for more years i.e up to the age of 65 at-least.

27 Aug 2012

It is most suicidal decisions taken by GOI to increase the retirement of serving teachers. They are not doing any thing and have plenty of time to gather information and indulge in politics. Young guys are not opposing them vociferously because most of the these old guards are either taught them or guided them or helped them to join faculty position. They are not promoting new ideas. Most of them hate power points because they do not know how to prepare it and second reason to oppose new teaching adds is through blackboard they cover at max 150 pages which give them leverage in killing class time with minimum preparation. They dont change the books and notes and what they know according to them it is gospel truth.
New guys are not recruited because of adjusting these old politician types teachers and they are not allowing any new fare practice to be build up to deal with research and development.
Kindly increase their penson and through them out from the institutions otherwise within 10 years they will convert it into a grave yard. Except politics
and low IQ type activities they are good for nothing.

27 Aug 2012

This can only be a temporary measure. Moreover, this will be required only in the case of professional colleges as the shortage of faculty is mostly there. The problem can be solved only if the Government(s) come up with a policy that will attract and retain youngsters interested in pursuing a teaching career.. Catching good graduates, offering them good salary , giving them leave with salary for higher studies and trying to retain them only will be a permanent solution. For example in Engg, a good B Tech with motivation for teaching can do far better than a mediocre M Tech from a self financing 'University'.

27 Aug 2012

Increasing the retirement age will not solve the problem. When a person retires the institution can appoint definitely 3 Assistnat Professors with the same salary and as well to assist teaching of nearly two times of workload of one retiring professor. This way there is more production, more number of teachers and more empllyment rate. Those who are youngsters who are waiting to get appointed are more in number than these about to be retired professors who are totally useless with the same old concept of old ideas ! Regarding the uniformity of retirement age i feel 60 years is the correct age and no more extension of retirement age.

Dr. Anurag Gaur
27 Aug 2012

There is no shortage of young talent, only senior people who are in committee are increasing the age of retirement for their benefits. Lot of young talented people within India or abroad are waiting to be absorbed in higher education institutes of India. I know many of my friends, who are doing postdocs in abroad since many years, they want to come to India but they are not being selected because of unfairty in system.

K B Koteshwara
27 Aug 2012

The issue of faculty crunch is going to be serious in a decade or so from now. We are seeing that newly qualified youngsters are not inclined to teaching for various reasons. If future generation requires good teaching, I think retirement should be increased to 65 or 70 depending on the track record of the teacher. There should not be a general rule to increase the retirement age. If it is done so, it may lead as a burden to university or institute. There should be some evaluation or analysis of the person for continuing his services even after retirement. One way is include him as adjunct faculty with reasonalbe workload and pay.

27 Aug 2012

any move to raise the retirement age above 60 is condemanable. rather age of retirement should be 58. Those who demand for raiseing if interested to serve may be hired on contract with lucrative remuneration. all other communities similarly will demand for it. it is a matter of regret and condemnable act to raise retirement level above 60.YOUNG PEOPLE WHO TALENTED WILL LOOSE OPORTUNITY IF RETIREMENT AGE IS INCREASE AND THEY WILL BECOME MAOIST BECAUSE OF UNEMPLYMENT

27 Aug 2012

Its a good move. Persons are sent out when they reach high knowledge, lets stop that.

Vikram Karve
24 Aug 2012

In fact, the way information and knowledge are expanding at a rapid pace, there is a need for infusing fresh young blood into the education system and getting rid of the deadwood. So, I think the retirement should not be increased, but should be reduced to 58 years.