Ten days after promoting 700 mathematics, English and commerce teachers in government schools from master-cadre post to lecturer on the basis of their master’s degree, the School Education Department, today stayed their promotions and suspended the new postings till further orders.
On July 3, the department had promoted about 2,200 teachers on the basis of their upgraded qualification.
However, the department refused to grant promotion to over 1,000 other teachers as their degrees were obtained from universities outside the state under the distance education mode.
Some of these teachers approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court. These 29 teachers claimed that their right to promotion was ignored as they had obtained their postgraduate degree from Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla. They claim that HPUdoes not bar any degree from recognition merely because the examinations were conducted at centres outside the state.
As Director Public Instruction (secondary education), Punjab, Balbir Singh Dhol has sought a clarification from the University Grants Commission (UGC) about the eligibility of these teachers, the High Court yesterday stayed the promotion of all teachers.
Following the orders, the department today suspended the postings of the promoted teachers.
Sources in the department said any promotion on the basis of degrees obtained from outside universities under the distance learning mode was invalid as per the policy of UGC and the Distance Education Council (DEC).
According to the DEC and UGC’s November 2012 and June 2013 notifications, the state university (government-funded or private) will operate only within its territorial jurisdiction and in no case beyond the territory of its location.
As per rules, the deemed or state universities will not conduct any course(s) under distance mode without specific prior approval of the UGC-AICTE-DEC joint committee.