Srinagar, Feb 24: Voices are growing across Jammu and Kashmir against any move to increase the retirement age of teachers in universities of the Union Territory.
The J&K Lieutenant Governor (LG) Manoj Sinha had in November last year announced during a function in the Kashmir University that the administration was exploring the possibility of increasing the age of university professors from 62 to 65 years.
However, the announcement was soon debated on social media with educated unemployed youth criticising any move to increase the retirement age of University teachers.
“Unemployment in Jammu and Kashmir is on the rise. Thousands of youth who have completed their degrees from these universities are waiting for jobs. Many of them are on the verge of getting over aged. In such a scenario the LG administration will be doing great injustice if it increases the retirement age of employees,” said Mohammad Muzaffar from Baramulla, who has completed his Ph.D in Biological Science.
Many youth said instead of increasing the retirement age of teachers, the Government should fill vacant posts of Assistant Professors on a fast track basis so that any dearth of faculty in universities is overcome.
“Youth of Jammu and Kashmir are frustrated due to unemployment. Such anti-youth decisions will further frustrate them,” Muzaffar said.
Junior teachers in universities are also against increasing the retirement age due to the rising graph of unemployment in the country.
“This is not the right time to consider such things which have a bearing on the future of educated youth. LG has promised to fast track recruitment by PSC and SSB. This promise should be fulfilled so that youth of J&K do not feel further alienated,” said a college teacher.
He said once such a decision is taken in case of University teachers, employees from other government departments will make similar demands.
Another youth said that enhancement in the retirement age of Professors will have a negative impact on the educated unemployed youth who are at the verge of crossing the upper age limit.
“If the government enhances the retirement age of Professors it will have negative impacts on the young generation. The government should consider the potential impact on all stakeholders,” said Javid Ahmad Dar who has done a Master’s in Chemistry.
The youth urged the LG led administration to cancel any such move without any delay, considering the future of educated youth.
“If the government enhances the retirement age of Professors, it will open a floodgate and similar demands will be made by doctors, college teachers and officers of other government departments,” he said.
As already reported, the non-teaching staff members in Jammu University and employees of JK Government have started raising their demand for an increase in the retirement age from 60 to 62 years if the Government increases the retirement age of faculty members in Universities.
“If the government succumbs to the demands of professors and non teaching staff of Universities, where will the educated unemployed youth find jobs,” asked Zubair Ahmad Ganai, a postgraduate student of Sociology.
The youth said the Government should also cancel administrative assignments of all University Professors who are on deputation to other universities.
“These Professors do not enter classes and are demanding an increase in retirement age only to fulfill their administrative ambitions. Students are not their concern at all,” said a University student.
Meanwhile, a top official in J&K administration said the government has not taken any decision to raise the retirement age of the University professors.
“The decision cannot be taken in haste but we (government) have to take all its aspects into consideration before taking any final decision,” the official said.
He said that the Government is fast tracking recruitment processes in Universities.
“No other decision is on cards,” he said. (KNO)
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