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AYUSH Ministry regulation irks teachers and colleges alike

AYUSH Ministry’s move to regulate private Ayurveda colleges by weeding out “ghost” teachers who teach in more than one college has irked college managements and teachers who have migrated to States other than their own.

Teachers say that the pan-India order has caused a lot of inconvenience as the government has begun to collect data unrelated to their employment. College managements say this order could stop them from hiring the best talent from across the country.

“We are being harassed by the Ministry, that is collecting irrelevant information about us, like the number of milk packets we have purchased in a week or the receipts of fees paid for children’s education,’’ said a teacher.

The colleges have been been given the onus of proving that their teachers have been resident in the city where they teach. This is to ensure that no private college teacher employs “ghost” teachers whose names remain on the rolls in colleges where they don’t actually work.

To build this data base, the colleges are supposed to collect some details.

They include proof of purchase of any consumables in the city where the teacher is working.

At least one receipt for each month of employment for items such as grocery, medicine, restaurant or other bills, online purchase of any goods delivered to the teacher’s address located in the city, any transaction paid to a government authority from the teacher’s address in the city such as electricity bill, water bill, property tax, proof of bank account statement showing regular credit of salary from employer for one year, proof of regular travel from the teacher’s residence to the college for the lockdown period and earlier, proof of the last travel made by the teacher to his native place immediately before or after the lockdown.

Proof of employment , business, residence of spouse or parents in the same city or nearby city, proof of school admission of the teacher’s son or daughter in the same city or nearby city where the teacher is working, proof of rent payment or rent agreement and PAN of house owner if the rent is high, TDS certificate issued by the employer and ESI and EPF registration details of the teacher.

Teachers say this betrays the government’s lack of trust. “We want the government to believe us. We are not criminals to remain under the suspicious eye of the government all the time,’’ said Shivakumar Hiremath, who teaches in a private Ayurveda college in Belagavi district. “We have sent a request to the Prime Minister’s Office, seeking the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the issue and to help us out,’’ he said.

College managements say the order amounts to violation of the fundamental rights of teachers to find employment anywhere in the country. “One of the columns of the data sheet we have been provided asks us to get details of employment of the teacher’s husband or wife or parents who work in the same city or a nearby city. What does the government want to use such information for – to restrict teachers from leaving their native town? This is not acceptable,’’ said the chairman of a private Ayurveda college. “The former Member of Parliament said office-bearers of the Association of Private Ayurvedic Homoeopathic Medical Colleges met AYUSH secretary Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha and other senior officers to express our reservations. If the government restricts our recruitment policies, it will be taking away our right to employ the best teachers from different States,’’ he said.

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