Gujarat Teachers to present a blood sprinkled bouquet to Narendra Modi

The Gujarat State University and College Teachers Federation (GSUCTF) has decided to present Chief Minister Narendra Modi and other state ministers with blood-sprinkled bouquets at every public function following the government’s move to turn down the pay scale recommendations suggested by the University Grants Commission (UGC). Modi will attend a programme at the Veer Narmad South Gujarat University (VNSGU) on October 31 and the teachers there have decided to present him with a blood sprinkled bouquet to register their protest.

At the emergency meeting on Tuesday in Ahmedabad, an action plan was chalked out to intensify the ‘Satyagrah’ launched about two weeks ago with the support of the All India Federation of University and College Teachers Organisation (AIFUCTO), when it was on a visit to Ahmedabad to attend a national seminar on Higher Education in India-Issues and Challenges.

II Pandya, core committee member of GSFUCTA and president of Baroda University Teachers’ Association, said: “The Chief Minster will be attending a function at VNSGU at the end of this month. The teachers there will be giving him flowers dipped in blood as he has turned completely indifferent to this grave issue.”

The teachers took to the protest after the state government decided to implement the pay scale on the basis of the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission. This is for the first time that the state government has turned down the pay scale structure decided by the UGC. The pay scale of university and college teachers is decided by the UGC and will result in disparities if it is implemented as per the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations.

As per the UGC guidelines, a lecturer at the entry level is paid Rs 23,000, while professors get a salary of Rs 43,000. Teaches get a salary of Rs 14,700.

Pandya added: “We want the state government to withdraw the government resolution passed on October 6, as the pay structure is not implemented in accordance with the UGC recommendations. UGC is a competent body to decide on the pay scale and university issues. There is no need to create another committee to supervise UGC. The state government is taking the decision without any foresight.”

GSUCTF president Prof K S Shastri said: “We have been getting some feelers that the government is ready to reconsider our cause, but we do not want negotiation. The Sixth Pay Commission is for other govt. employees and the UGC guidelines are meant for teachers. We want our pay structure as per the UGC guidelines. We are planning to go on a strike if nothing works out.”

Over 40 teachers from nine universities attended the meeting. The members intend to undertake similar protests and demonstrations at Rajkot, Vadodara and Ahmedabad in congregations attended by government officials.

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