statesman news service
KOLKATA, 18 JUNE: A day after Chancellor MK Narayanan inquired into the recent resignations of teachers from the Presidency University, education minister Bratya Basu said he will also discuss the issue with the Vice-Chancellor.
However, he said addressing grievances of faculty members regarding their payscale, which is actually at par with other state universities, will not be possible for the state as the government cannot violate UGC strictures regarding emoluments of professors.
Referring to resignations of faculty members from Presidency, he said, "Money is not the only reason…There may be many other factors. Whatever it is, we will look into it." Mr Basu is scheduled to meet the
V-C next week.
The V-C, Professor Malabika Sarkar, said she would talk to the minister about funds. "We will seek immediate release of funds for infrastructure development as we have many repair works pending in the university. We have started the renovation work of the Baker Building with UGC funds," she said. Last year, she had sought Rs 50 crore for the renovation of the historic building.
"We have not received any funds from the state government. This time, I might approach the department to release the fund in installments," added the V-C.
Meanwhile, resignations of eight faculty members of the university has made the situation look more hopeless; some of them expressed unhappiness with salaries and most were dissatisfied with the infrastructure.
Presidency University, being state government’s "centre of excellence", provides some additional facilities to its faculty ~ funds for research and professional development.
Faculty coming from outside are also provided with relocation funds. "But to avail this fund, the faculty have to get involved in some research projects.
Otherwise, they will not get it," added an official of the university. Though resignation of faculty is not a recent development for the university, the number of resignations has suddenly increased in the past few months. And it has forced the university authorities to make fresh recruitments.
Overall eight faculty resigned, including, Mr Prakash Maity (Bengali), Mr Sudipto Saraswati (Physiology), Mr Samit Kar (Sociology), Mr Prabir Mukherjee (Physics), Mr Subhrasankar Dhar (Statistics), Mr Bidyut Senapati (Chemistry), Mr Subhasish Banerjee (Zoology) and Mr Benjamin Zachariah (History) who was also terminated from the university. Those who joined the university from the erstwhile Presidency College and any other government college and then resigned were unhappy with their designation.
Those who came from outside had grievances over salary and infrastructure.