Treat retiring employees more humanely: CAT

         In what could well be music to the ears of government employees, the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has ruled that employees on the verge of retirement should not be transferred merely because they have been posted at a particular place for a long period

       While maintaining that transfer was the prerogative of administrative authorities and government servants could not claim to serve at the same station forever as a matter of right, the CAT said such a benefit should be extended to superannuating employees, to retire peacefully at a particular place after years of service.

     "It would enable a person about to retire to make arrangements for settling down with his family," the tribunal said.

         However, the CAT made it clear that for other employees, the general rule of transfer policy would continue to apply.

      "Transfer is an incidence of service and ordinarily, the court would not interfere because no one can expect to continue at the same station forever," the Tribunal stressed.

         The order came on a petition filed by three officers of the Department of Health and Family Welfare, challenging their transfer from Delhi to Pune, Chennai and Hyderabad respectively, with immediate effect.

       "Merely because the applicants have a long stay and the transfer order could not be implemented so far, would not constitute sufficient reason," CAT member N D Dayal said.

        The Department had contended that it was completely in consonance with the guidelines of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), according to which those on sensitive posts could not be allowed to occupy them endlessly.

       But CAT said officers on the verge of retirement should be treated more humanely, so as to avoid inconvenience to them.

President Gives Away National Awards to Teachers

         The President, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil, gave away the National Awards to Teachers- 2009, here today. Speaking on the occasion, she stated that if our youth are to be utilized for building up a new country, a new society, the beginning must come from the teachers themselves. She said, “You must not only be a teacher, but more. You must be a facilitator, friend, philosopher and guide to those whose lives you mould. I am sure that our teachers, by the dint of their hard work and their passion, whether in schools in our cities or in our remotest villages, will strive to achieve high levels of professional work. You must constantly upgrade your teaching methodologies so that children get quality education. Use new techniques to make lessons more interactive and effective. Moreover, in-service teachers' training is an important aspect of a good education system. It enables teachers to renew their teaching skills.”

      The President drew attention of the gathering to the disturbing trend of ragging in the country’s institutions of higher education underlining that teachers have a role towards preventing it. She said, “I have often said that this practice is not healthy, as it is a manifestation of intolerance on the part of senior students towards their juniors, who are new to the campus. It must be strongly condemned and should not take place in any institution of the country.” She also called upon teachers, particularly those in rural and distant areas, to hold classes regularly and ask students to attend school every day. She asked the teachers to remain in contact with parents and pay personal attention to the difficulties that their students may face. 

      In his address, Shri Kapil Sibal, Union Minister for Human Resource Development stated that The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 has become a reality and also that the Act has provisions which have been welcomed by teachers. But, he pointed out that there remains the problem of non-transparent and arbitrary postings and transfers of teachers. He said, “I believe that the time has come for every State Government /UT Administration to prepare enforceable rules, which should ensure a rational and transparent system of postings and transfers. It should also be kept in mind that women teachers have demanding domestic responsibilities and their special circumstances should be given due consideration.” 

    Shri Sibal also underlined the high expectations from teachers that the RTE has, which include their full involvement with the functioning of School Management Committees (SMCs), and accountability towards the “local authority” regarding rights of children. He also said that the Act invokes a moral response from the teaching profession – a response which would enable the country to turn the corner in this crucial area of human development. He emphasized that while teachers should be able to safeguard their dignity and their rights as members of an esteemed profession, there should be no compromise with the errant behaviour of teachers. 

     The minister spoke about how The National Curriculum Framework - 2005 recommended moving away from the examination system and reducing stress on children by integrating evaluation with the learning process and assessing them continuously on various parameters on a regular basis. He said, “For the effective implementation of Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) we need to reform our examination system. A beginning has already been made in this direction by introducing the grading system. To implement CCE in a more effective manner we need to work closely with NCERT, CBSE and State Boards so that our children will be assessed on their fundamental competencies to understand and construct knowledge, not on their capacity to rote learn information from the text books and reproduce it in examinations.” 

     374 teachers were given the award by the President, from across the states and Union Territories in the country, besides awards given to teachers under some other categories including CBSE teachers, CISCE teachers, Kedriya Vidyalaya Sangathan teachers, Navodaya Vidyalaya Sangathan teachers, etc. Each award consists of a Certificate of Merit, a Silver Medal and a Cash Prize of Rs. 25,000.

Eight trade unions backing call for strike tomorrow

    Government employees and many of those working in the private sector will go on a one-day countrywide general strike tomorrow under the banner of eight major trade unions including Congress-affiliated INTUC against price rise, violation of labour laws and disinvestment of PSUs.

    "Nearly six crore workers will participate in the strike across the country. Those employed in private sector will also join the strike in many places," AITUC general secretary and CPI MP Gurudas Dasgupta told PTI here today.

     AITUC, CITU, HMS, AIUTUC, TUCC, AICCTU, UTUC and federations of different categories of workers and employees will participate in the general strike, which has been called by Coordination Committee of Central Trade Unions headed by INTUC president G Sanjeeva Reddy, he said.

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