Orissa High Court endorses SET order for grant of UGC pay scale to under-qualified lecturer

The Department of Higher Education implemented the scheme for grant of UGC scale of pay to teachers in colleges on October 6, 1989.
Orissa High Court
Orissa High Court Photo | Express

CUTTACK: The Orissa High Court recently dismissed the Odisha government’s appeal challenging the State Educational Tribunal (SET)’s order for grant of benefit of University Grants Commission (UGC) scale of pay to a lecturer who neither had the required 55 per cent mark in MA at the time of initial appointment nor had later acquired MPhil as required in the case of under-qualified lecturer.

The appeal was filed in 2009 after the SET on May 31, 2008 ruled that Dasarathi Sahoo was entitled to get the benefit of the UGC scale of pay with effect from January 1, 1986 and set aside the state government’s August 6, 2005 order which had rejected his claim for it.

Sahoo was first appointed as a lecturer in English at Mangala Mahavidyalaya at Kakatpur in Puri district on March 22, 1980. Though he was not having the required 55 per cent mark in MA in English, the Utkal University condoned the deficiency in an order issued on September 15, 1989.

The Department of Higher Education implemented the scheme for grant of UGC scale of pay to teachers in colleges on October 6, 1989. The scheme was made applicable to all categories of full-time teachers working in affiliated government colleges and aided non-government colleges either covered or eligible to be covered under the direct payment scheme till April 1,1989. But Sahoo was not granted the benefit of UGC pay scale even as he was by then covered under a direct salary payment scheme for non-government aided colleges since 1986.

While the appeal against the 2008 SET judgment was pending in the high court, Sahoo retired as Reader in English (state scale) serving at Pipili College in Puri on March 31, 2017. Advocate Jitendra Kumar Lenka appeared on behalf of Sahoo when the appeal was dismissed on May 21, 2024.

The state government took the stand that the condonation of the deficiency in the qualification by Utkal University, was only for the purpose of continuance of Sahoo in the college and to bring him under grant-in-aid fold in the existing scale of pay applicable to non-government-aided college and not to extend the benefit of UGC.

However, the single judge bench of Biraja Prasanna Satapathy said, “This court is unable to accept the contention of the state and is of the view that the tribunal rightly allowed the claim of Dasarathi Sahoo. This court accordingly finds no illegality or irregularity with the impugned judgment and is not inclined to interfere with the same.”

Related Stories

No stories found.

The New Indian Express