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Service life extension: State remains firm as teachers’ bodies warn of bigger stirs

West Bengal College and University Teachers Association (WEBCUTA) threatened a bigger movement for their demand of ‘service life extension’. But the state government is sticking to their position saying that no extension will be allowed.

Recently, state education department issued a notification to all the universities and colleges, mentioning no retention of professors who have crossed the given age limit. Soon after the notification, the college and university professors, under WEBCUTA decided to lodge movements across the state-run institutions. All Bengal University Teachers’ Association (ABUTA) will also join with WEBCUTA in the movement.

However, state education minister Partha Chaterjee ruled out demand of professors’ body. “We have to make sure that the new generation should get the chance. Not everybody of those protesters is Satyan Bose or Amartya Sen,” said Chatterjee.

Chattejee added that the state government may frame a committee which would point out the exceptionally talented professors. It may be recalled that members of ABUTA recently started cease-work at Jadavpur University protesting state government’s decision to not extend the tenure of university professors.

Chatterjee asked for the data of vacant posts in universities of Bengal. The state government is showing no intention to extend the service tenure of the university professors further after 60 years but the professors on the other hand have decided to lodge protest across the state. They have also threatened the same in every university if state does not reconsider its decision.

“It was during the Left Front regime in 1979, when extraordinary talented professors were given extension for five years. In mid eighties, the erstwhile government decided that no college teacher would get this facility. But it is not possible now. We have to make space for new talents. No extension will be allowed till the further notification regarding this issue,” said a senior education department officer.

However, the universities have started acting on the government notice. Calcutta University V-C Ashutosh Ghosh and registrar, Pradip Kumat Ghosh informed that they will take steps after studying the notification from the state government. Chatterjee has also said the professor’s body should not call any cease-work. But it is likely that a cease-work will start on Friday. There are around 800 vacant positions for professors in the state.
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