New Delhi: In a bonanza for 800,000 university teaching staff a week before Diwali, the Union cabinet on Wednesday approved revised pay scales that will see their pay packets go up between 22% and 28%. The revision is as per the recommendations made by the 7th Pay Commission, human resources minister Prakash Javadekar told reporters after a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The salary hikes, applicable from 1 January 2016, will cover teachers and professors in central and state-funded educational institutions as well as private aided colleges affiliated to state public universities, a government statement said.
“The annual central financial liability on account of this measure would be about Rs9,800 crore. The implementation of this pay revision will enhance the teachers’ pay in the range of Rs10,400 and Rs49,800 as against the extant entry pay due to the implementation of the 6th Central Pay Commission for the pay of teachers. This revision would register an entry pay growth in the range of 22% to 28%," a government statement said.
“For the state government-funded institutions, the revised pay scales will require adoption by the respective state governments. The central government will bear the additional burden of the states on account of revision of pay scales. The measures proposed in the revised pay structure are expected to improve quality of higher education and also attract and retain talent," the statement added.
According to Javadekar, the move is aimed at attracting and retaining teaching talent in academics.
“We need to attract talent in academics and we want to give a good salary package so that the existing talent is retained. In the industries (in other fields of work) there are more attractive packages. Still, with commitment, people stay here. They must be rewarded," Javadekar said.
In another decision, aimed at scaling up skill development, the cabinet committee on economic affairs, also chaired by Modi on Wednesday, gave its nod to two new World Bank-supported schemes of Rs6,655 crore.
The two programmes—Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion (SANKALP) and Skill Strengthening for Industrial Value Enhancement (STRIVE)—“are outcome-focused schemes marking shift in government’s implementation strategy in vocational education and training from inputs to results," the government said.
“There has been a long-felt need for a national architecture for promoting convergence, ensuring effective governance and regulation of skill training and catalysing industry efforts in vocational training space. The two schemes shall address this need by setting up national bodies for accreditation and certification which shall regulate accreditation and certification in both long- and short-term Vocational Education and Training (VET)," it said.
“The schemes are aligned to flagship Government of India programs such as Make in India and Swachhta Abhiyan (Clean India) and aim at developing globally competitive workforce for domestic and overseas requirements. To this end, over 700 industry led institutions are being set up for providing job oriented skill training to lakhs of aspirants," the statement said.
It will also develop a skilling ecosystem that will “support the country’s rise in the Ease of Doing Business index by steady supply of skilled workforce to the industry. The schemes will also work towards increasing the aspirational value of skill development programs by increasing the marketability of skills, through better industry connect and quality assurance," it added.
Additionally, the cabinet also approved the signing of a “Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC)" between India and Japan on a “Technical Intern Training Program (TITP)." This is expected to be signed by Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Minister Dharmendra Pradhan when he visits Japan next week.
“The Technical Intern Training Program (TITP) is an ambitious programme to send Indian technical interns to Japan for on the job training for a period of three to five years. It is expected that the MoC will pave the way for bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the area of skill development," the government said.
The cabinet also cleared a proposed deal between India, the fourth largest importer of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and Japan, the largest importer of the fuel, to swap gas purchases from other parties so that both the nations could cut down freight costs and get more competitive prices. The deal will also enable setting up LNG spot price indices reflecting demand and supply of the fuel, said an official statement.
Gireesh Chandra Prasad contributed to this story.