West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee increased the retirement age of regular teachers from 60 to 62 Years.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee today announced a series of sops for teachers of state-aided colleges and universities, making a foray into one of the last remaining redoubts of the Left.
Among the measures unwrapped are an increase in the retirement age of permanent teachers by two years, a health insurance scheme linked to some private hospitals and a travel allowance for a foreign trip.
Drawing loud cheers from the 8,000-strong audience at a convention of teachers, principals, vice-chancellors and officials, the chief minister said: "The age of retirement of college and university teachers is being increased to 62 years.... I know the young (aspiring teachers) may not like this, but I can promise there will be no problems. We have recruited more than 4,500 teachers to colleges and universities. We'll continue to recruit more teachers in future."
Mamata promised to bring permanent teachers under the ambit of the state government's health insurance scheme. Till now, teachers were not entitled to any health insurance and were provided only a monthly medical allowance of Rs 300.
"I understand this amount is too little. So we have decided to bring all teachers under our government health scheme," she said.
Mamata issued a cross-party appeal to the teachers: "You can represent any colour of your choice. Red, green or yellow... it doesn't matter. The top priority for all of us is to promote education and culture.... You may not like me and abuse me, but don't misunderstand me if I make a mistake. Don't forget me."
Education department sources said the annual cost of the sops would not be more than Rs 25 crore in the first few years.