Bhopal, Sept 21:
The agitation of government college teachers, who were on strike from September 5, seems to have weakened. Now they have decided to start relay hunger strike from Tuesday. However the university teachers are not in favour of it.
The government college and university teachers seems to have decided to go on different paths in agitation against non-implementation 6th Pay Commission benefits as recommended by the University Grants Commission (UGC). The college teachers have been agitating under the banner of College Teachers Joint Action Committee. The committee had announced to start hunger strike in serial order in at district and divisional levels from September 22. It is learnt that the university teachers are not joining the hunger strike.
It is learnt that the Higher Education Minister Archana Chitnis and officials of the Higher Education department have reportedly agreed to pay UGC scale to university teachers by September 24. The government has made it clear that it has no problem to give UGC scale to university teachers. The government just has to agree to it and the financial burden is the responsibility of universities.
The state government would continue to give subsidy to the universities as usual but no extra amount would be given for UGC scale. It is learnt that almost all universities have agreed to this and are waiting for the government to issue directives pertaining to UGC scale. This may be the reason why the university professors are keeping away from the hunger strike. As promised by the government they would wait till September 24 and the promises were not fulfilled till then, they would continue the agitation.
On the other hand the state government has not made any assurance to the government college teachers. The higher education minister had assured to consider their demands sympathetically but the teachers are waiting for the government to issue proper orders to withdraw agitation. The state government will not have to bear any financial burden while implementing UGC scale to university professors. But the government had already said it is not in a position to implement it. Hence, even after teaching in government colleges has come to a standstill for over a fortnight the government has not taken any decision. The college teachers are not worried over the attitude of the university teachers. They said the university teachers were not with them and had participated in vehicle rally only so far.
Hunger strike from today
In the first stage hunger strike on serial basis would be organised in divisional and district headquarters. Dr ML Soni, Dr NR Das, Dr Ajay Agrawal, Dr Chandna Basu, Dr Rajesh Khare, Dr Abha Pandey, Dr Sunita Kourav, Dr Ushakiran Gupta, Dr NB Prabhakar and Dr Anil Mahagai would sit on hunger strike on Tuesday in the state capital