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HISTORY OF ACTA-APACTA 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'S GENESIS AND GROWTHACTA 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.
STRUGGLE AGAINST OPPRESSION AND SERFDOMPrior 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.
ACTA FIGHTS FOR CHANGEWhen 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.
ACTA CREATES A NEW ORDER IN HIGHER EDUCATIONACTA 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 in full.
(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 formula.
(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 College Teachers.
(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 years.
(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.