STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
Kolkata, 4 August
Before the row over the tenure of the Vice-Chancellor of Presidency University could die down, two back-to-back resignations from the board of the faculty has intensified the tussle between the university and the state government.
Professor Paulavi Das, of Philosophy department who joined Presidency University leaving a college of Delhi has recently resigned. On the other hand, Prof. Dipak Mondal of Chemistry department who was there in the erstwhile Presidency College and was selected for the university, also resigned.
Presidency Mentor Group (PMG) in its latest report has suggested that since the state government cannot allow more salary to Presidency professors, it should sit with the PMG to discuss some way-out.
As alternative ways, the PMG suggested special increment for good researchers. It also suggested that the state government should allow the university authorities to supplement the salary from its own fund.
However, the state government did not pay any heed to these suggestions and clarified that it is not possible for the state government to pay more to the Presidency professors apart from the professional development funds, already promised, because of the “special” status.
A source in the university confirmed that though Prof Mondal had no issues with salary and infrastructure of the university, Prof Das decided to leave Presidency just because of the “salary gap”. Prof Mondal returned to a government college because he would receive the post retirement benefits easily. The total number of resignations now stand at 10, including Prof Benzamin Zachariah of History department whose service was also terminated.
Though not every one has pointed out money matters, many regretted the decision of leaving Central institutes. However, all of them were aware of the salary structure of a state university like Presidency and nobody was promised any extra amount, said the university authorities. “In case of Prof Das, she knew that her dearness allowance will dip if she switches to a state government job from a Central government one. But after she joined, Central government increased the DA again which resulted in a huge gap between what she gets here and what she could have got in her earlier job,” said an official of the university, adding: “We are helpless. It has nothing to do with our infrastructure.” Prior to this those who left the university, include Prabir Mukherjee, Physics department, Prakash Maiti, Bengali department, Sudipto Saraswati, Physiology department, Samit Kar, Sociology department, Subha Sankar Dhar, Statistics department, Bidyut Senapoti, Chemistry department, Subhasish Banerjee, Zoology department.