New Delhi: The Centre has termed the strike call by public sector bank (PSB) employees, who are protesting against banking sector reforms, as uncalled for and unjust. Contrary to the charges made by the United Forum of Bank Unions, which represents nine PSB unions, the Union government doesn’t propose to transfer control and management of PSBs to the private sector, a finance ministry statement said. The government will hold not less than 51% of the equity in PSBs, it added. The statement said that the strike—slated for 24-25 September— will drive more customers to private sector banks. The government also asked the bank unions to call off the strike.
— Staff Writer
Pace of average food inflation growth falls
Mumbai: Prices of primary articles including food and oil seeds increased at a slower pace in the past 12 months than in the previous year, the government said.
Prices of food and non-food articles such as oil seeds and minerals rose by 7.86% on average as of 30 August, slower than the 9.49% annual rate on 1 September 2007, the finance ministry said in an emailed statement.
Average inflation for all commodities as of 30 August rose to 7.12%, compared with 5.46% on 1 September 2007.
Panel for ‘substantial’ hike in teachers’ pay
New Delhi: The pay review committee appointed by the University Grants Commission (UGC) has recommended a “substantial’’ hike in salaries to teachers across state and central universities, particularly at the entry level. The committee also recommended extension of retirement age to 65.
Refusing to quantify the hike, G.K. Chadha, chairman of the committee and also a member of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Committee, said at a press conference that the increase would be “unprecedented” and “tremendous”.
The panel recommends provision of a research grant and other incentives at the entry level in teaching positions, and allowance for teachers working in remote and inaccessible areas.
The panel has recommended promotions every alternate year to create “opportunities for growth” for teachers, a committee member said.
For states that fail to implement the recommendations, the panel has recommended an in-built penalty clause.
The recommendations, yet to be submitted before the UGC and the ministry of human resource development for approval, also stress on “uniform implementation” of the pay hike across states.
The panel’s other recommendations address recruitment policy and incentives to attract better faculty and retain talent, better infrastructure and academic environment and revision of teaching workload, among others.
— Pallavi Singh