Friday, March 16, 2007

We retire at 65!


Yes, the age at which teachers retire -- superannuate -- has been raised from 62 to 65. Here is the press release from PIB:

The Union Cabinet today gave its approval for enhancing the age of superannuation for teaching positions in Centrally Funded Educational Institutions under the Ministry of Human Resource Development from 62 to 65 years of age, with provision for re-employment beyond 65 years and upto 70 years of age against sanctioned vacancies if they are not filled up by regular candidates, after screening under the UGC Guidelines at the age of 65 years.

I view this across-the-board increase in retirement age as bad news. The provision for re-employment beyond the current retirement age of 62 would have been far better; if it makes sense at 65, it makes better sense at 62! A long, pay-protected tenure is a terrible thing in a system that's incapable of getting rid of deadwood and nasty, negative people.

8 Comments:

  1. confused said...

    Abi,

    I have not sure the retire age previously was 62. As far as I know it was 60 with re-employment till 65 with reviews every year which of course were meaningless.

    Agree with your larger point but the solution is to give universities and departments greater autonomy.

  2. confused said...

    errr..read that as retirement age.

  3. Anonymous said...

    dead wood! nasty negative people. wow! cant sound more appropriate. Dont these kind find their way of hanging around, anyway?

  4. Ashutosh said...

    You are absolutely right..in a system where promotion is largely not based on peer review but based on seniority alone, this is bad news indeed. Just means the old fogies will stick around longer to harass students.

  5. vatsan said...

    wasnt the objective to be able to meet the staff cruch due to reservations? and never getting rid of the nasty profs? that anyway wont happen since they add numerical value to the govts figures. They are concerned about meeting student teacher ratio rather than quality as you hope they are :)

  6. MV said...

    65 is too much. Even 62 was a bit too much. I believe the age of 60 is apt for retirement from regular service. This should be the case with politicians also.

  7. Abi said...

    Confused: For those of us in institutions funded directly by MHRD, the retirement age went up from 60 to 62 in 1999 (or so), and now, with this decision, it will go further up to 65.

    Ashutosh: There are these allegations about promotions being seniority-based. All I can tell you is that it is not so. At lease in centrally funded institutions. As I made clear in my post, there are good reasons why organizations would want to get rid of some people; their 'undeserved promotion' is not one of them!

    Vatsan: Touche. I didn't mean to imply that this decision had anything to do with quality. However, the government's primary purpose could have been served equally well by allowing institutions to re-employ people. This option is better because, they can use this mechanism to keep some bad elements out.

    MV: I disagree. For good, active and productive researchers (who also contribute to the well-being of their institution), there should be no age limit. For those with opposite qualities, the age limit should be the age at which those 'qualities' are discovered!

    'One age fits all' is bad policy.

  8. Ashutosh said...

    I am saying that their promotion is inspite of their mediocre performance, not the reason why they should be retired early. It's the mediocre performance that naturally is the reason why they should not be allowed to continue for so long.
    I completely agree with you that 'one age fits all' should not be implemented. Productive professors should be allowed to stay on. Europe lost many good professors to the US (including some Nobel laureates) because they did not allow them to continue.
    Also, I am sure that apart from central institutes, strict peer research review is not a criteria for promotion. And I was always under the impression that it is much harder to get tenure in American universities than in Indian ones. But since you are already in the thick of things, I am sure you know best about this; so what's the scenario?