M.J. Manikya Rao
of College Teachers' Movement"
HISTORY OF ACTA-AP
ACTA has a proud history of over sixty years.
It is a pioneer in the College Teachers’ movement in A.P. as well as
in the country. It is a founder member of AIFUCTO which was formed in
1962 and has contributed substantially to the growth of College Teachers’
Movement in the country. It has played a leading role in the evolution
of educational policies, specially at the higher education level. It
has fought many a battle for the emancipation of College Teachers and
to earn a pride of place to them in the Indian society. It has to its
credit several brilliant, outstanding and pioneer achievements.
ACTA was conceived in 1938 and was formed in 1942. It represented College
Teachers both Government and Private-in the Andhra area in the composite
Madras State. ACTA (Osmania) representing private college teachers in
erstwhile Telangana area was formed in 1964 and was rechristened as TACTA
in 1969 in the wake of seperate Telangana agitation. It worked in cooperation
with ACTA (A) since its inception. The concerted efforts of ACTA (A) and
TACTA paved the way for building of united College Teachers’ movement
in A.P. in 1967 and for unification of private college teachers movement
in A.P. in 1988. In 1988, the merger of ACTA (A) and TACTA gave birth
to ACTA, AP which became the sole representative of Private College Teachers
in Andhra Pradesh.
OPPRESSION AND SERFDOM
Prior to 1963, Private College Teachers depended totally on the mercy
of the managements. “Hire and Fire” policy was the basic policy of administration
in Private Colleges. Managements fix the pay and pay at their will and
pleasures though the Government used to grant substantial aid. College
teachers suffered all sorts of indignities, had to frequent the Masters”
house, standing at their gates with folded hands and with all submissiveness
of a servant eagerly awaiting a smile sparkle on the “Deity’s” lips and
mercy glow in his eyes and favours and crumbs doled out. A smile or a
frown of the great “Philanthrophist” used to be a hot topic of discussion
among the college teachers, who spend hours dissecting, analysing and
philosophising the great “Mona Lisa’s’ facial contortion and through that
trying to divine the mind and the intentions of the ‘Master’. It was a
life of a misery, demeaning slavery and beggary. The ‘Oracles’ of the
day used to exhort College Teachers to hold their heads high in the empty
skies not to look down at the earth, no talk of salaries, scales and security
but to talk ideals and ideas for their profession is ‘holy’ and ‘noble’.
Suffering was real and biting, status and security were empty, meaningless
and obnoxious words, which has no place in the lexicon of the great ‘Educationists’
and ‘Philanthrophists’. College Teachers taught lessons on hunger, suffered
hunger in life, they decried slavery and serfdom in the class room, but
lived with it in real life, they spoke of lofty ideals and high status,
but suffered all sorts of indignities and low status. Post-retirement
life was a cursed life. Retired College Teachers were an unwanted burden
on their childern; often driven from pillar to post with a begging bowl,
carrying their noble souls in their withered bodies, praying their Deities
to terminate their lives. Noble lives, thus, have heart-rending tragic
end. College Teachers were then objects of pity and derision. Such was
the life of college teachers upto fifties and early sixties.
When hunger becomes wrenching, humiliations and persecution become intolerable,
when the frightening fear of the lurking dark future grips the mind, when
every thing looks dry, depressing and decaying, man starts questioning
the system, and fights for his own survival; as he lives and therefore
has to live. Basic questions will be raised and struggle for answers starts.
The revolt begins. This is exactly what happened in sixties and continued
and is continuing. New generations of College teachers had come on to
the scene. Series of struggles - Protracted, bitter, militant, nerve-recking-were
waged for (i) freedom for hunger, (ii) security of service and redemption
from bondage, and (iii) Status commensurate with the crucial role of College
Teachers as the Creators of ideas and moulders of the rising generations.
A NEW ORDER IN HIGHER EDUCATION
ACTA has won many a battle won many a leurel and brought about a qualitative
change (i) in the relations between the Teachers and Managements. (ii)
in the management of Private Colleges, (iii) in the status of College
Teachers, and (iv) in the College Teachers movement. Many spectacular
achievements were accomplished by ACTA due to the great sacrifices that
the old generations had made to make their successors happy and contended.
(1) Under-Graduate Education was brought under the U.G.C. purview in 1955.
(2) Pursuant to the recommendations of D.S Reddy Committee (1964) the
State Government revised the then existing policy on grant-in-aid and
decided to shoulder the total financial burden. This is the foundation
of the new policy of A.P. in the management of Higher Education. A.P.
is the pioneer in this respect; rest of India followed suit. The recommendation
of D.S. Reddy Committee that there should be parity between Government
and Private Aided Colleges Teachers in all matters was not implemented
(3) As a result of the 38 days strike in 1973, the State Government admitted
12 un-aided colleges to grant-in-aid and thus laid down a policy facility
for admission of un aided colleges to grade-in-aid, enrich the D.S. Reddy
(4) H.R.A. was extended to the aided college Teachers in 1974. This was
the first step taken to bring about parity between Government and Aided
(5) On 5-10-1974, the State Government promulgated an Ordinance, ensuring
statutory protection to College Teachers, breaking the chains of bondage
and freeing them from the clutches of the managements. This was legislated
as Act 11 of 1975, which formed the core of Act 1 of 1982. 5-10-74 was
the day of emancipation for teachers of private colleges and schools.This
had transformed radically the relationship between the teachers in private
school and colleges and their management from that of ‘servant and master’
(as pronounced to A.P. High Court in 1965) to that of ‘partners’ in the
educational process under the control of the state. The character of aided
colleges had undergone a qualitative change and they became colleges financed,
regulated and controlled by the Government but managed by the private
committees. Thus they became quasi-Government Colleges.
(6) The Government had extended A.P. Liberalised Pension Rules to the
Teachers in Aided Colleges (vide G.O.Ms.No. 544 Edn. (c) dated 11-4- 74
covering everybody who retired after 1-4-1973.
(7) ACTA in cooperation with other organisations forced a reluctant Government
to implement the Vth plan scales of pay with effect from 1-4-76 and succeeded
in securing the abolition of cadres in Degree Colleges along with the
upgradation of J.Ls. and TS/DS, through struggles and legal battles. A.P.
was the only State where J.Ls. and TS/DS were upgraded as Lecturers. This
yet another unique achievement of ACTA.
(8)(i) The State Government had reiterated the policy for admission of
un-aided Colleges and sections and admitted all the un-aided colleges
and sections in existence prior to 1-4-1977 to grant-in-aided and ordered
that no private management should be allowed to open Colleges thereafter.
This was voilated and number of un-aided Colleges and un-aided sections
came into existence later. (ii) The Government revised its stand with
a view to alleviating the hardship being faced by the teachers in un-aided
colleges and admitted all the un-aided colleges (about 150 Junior Colleges
and 53 Degree Colleges) and sections to grant-in-aid with effect from
16-4-1990, though denying the benefit of increments for the un-aided period.
Thus the policy laid down in 1964 for the admission of un-aided colleges
and sections to grant-in-aided was honoured and continued upto 1-3-1985;
though partly distorted in 1990.
(9) Through series of orders, all the fringe benefits being enjoyed by
the Government Colleges Teachers were extended to the Aided College Teachers,
except L.T.C. and Medical reimbursement.
(10) ACTA, TACTA in cooperation with sister organisations forced the Government
to introduce ‘Payment of Salaries through Banks’ Scheme from 1981. This
is yet another spectacular achievement, replacing ‘the managements’ by
the Government as pay masters. (11) The State Government was forced to
implement R.P.S. (U.G.C.) 1986, 1996 along with C.A.S. Which has further
raised the status of Colleges Teachers.
(12) In 1993, the State Government was prevailed upon to extend the R.P.R.
1980, which was denied to Aided College Teachers for over 15 tormenting
(13) The State Government was persuaded to sanction Interim Relief on
par with the Central Government Employees.
This is yet another achievement which ensures the implementation of the
forth-coming revision of pay scales. We successfully repelled the first
lightening attack unleashed against the aided school and college teachers
and forced the Government to relent and continue the three decades old
parity policy by sanctioning D.A. on par with Government employees which
the Government. The Government tried to terminate in December, 1995. We
forestalled the attempts of the Government to impose a cut on grant-in-aid,
the first step in the process for privatisation of higher education, the
avowed policy of the State Government.
(14) ACTA initiated, pioneered and fortified united College Teachers’
movement in A.P. which was instrumental in wresting serveral benefits
from the Government and earning a pride of place for the teachers in the
society. In addition to the above, ACTA was able to get the following
benefits to aided college teachers in the recent years.
(a) Regularisation of part time lecturers through G.O.Ms.No.328.
(b) Up gradation of assistant physical directors as physical directors.
(c) Promoting lab assistants as lecturers.
(d) Redesignation of librarians and physical directors as lecturers in
library Science and Lecturers in Physical Education.
(e) Exemption of NET/SLET to those lecturers who are appointed upto 16-7-2001.
(f) Releasing of U.G.C. arrears
(g) Merger of 50% DA with basic pay with effect from 1-4-2006.
The government of Andhra Pradesh as per the directions of the world bank
and IMF and also due to Globalization, Liberalisation and Privatization
of economy and India preparing to join as member of GATS, the structure
of higher education in general and aided system in particular is bound
to face many challenges. Government is gradually with drawing from the
field of highereducation by permitting self financing colleges, Private
Universities and foreign universities. It appears that the government
is bent upon dismantling the aided system of higher education. Therefore,
this is the time that all the members of ACTA-AP once again should raise
to the ocasion and prepace for bigger struggles and specifices to protect
aided system in A.P. ACTA had marched on a rugged uncharted road for over
sixty years, struggling to find its way, shedding complexes, overcoming
fears and social barriers and evolved itself into a principled, militant
and fighting organisation, committed to the cause of college teachers
and higher education. ACTA’s history of heroic and bitter struggles, heavy
sacrifices and glorious achievements. ACTA has never compromised on basic
issues, never sacrified the intrests of the college teachers and passed
through fiery ordeals and fashioned itself into a powerful instrument
in the service of the College Teeachers. You are a proud inheritor of
this great legacy. Your predecessors had suffered, fought and made hervy
sacrifices to keep you happy, secure and on a high pedestal in the social
hierarchy 60 years of ACTA’s life in evenful. To remember is to learn;
to learn is to act; to act is to change. Learning from the past, acting
in the present and changing the environment for the future is the quintessence
of all human activities. We, the teachers as the intellectual representatives
of the society, and called upon to create and disseminate new ideas and
change and spur the society towards the glorious future.