The NDA government may be seeing itself as committed to promote Sanskrit, but there is much unease among about 200 contractual teachers of the world’s largest Sanskrit university.
Teachers at the Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, which is under the human resource development ministry, offers higher education in Sanskrit up to the doctorate degree and has 11 centres across India, earn salaries that start at about Rs 40,000 a month.
With fresh interviews being announced for contract renewal, the teachers, many of whom have been teaching here for years on contract, complain that despite having cleared interviews in 2007 and 2012 to be selected for these teaching jobs under one-year contracts, they are now being asked to appear for yet another interview.
A group of teachers have written to PM Narendra Modi requesting his intervention to cancel the impending interviews. They have also written to BJP leader Kirit Somayya, joint secretary in the HRD ministry SS Sandhu and the registrar of the Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan. The letter to the PM reads: “This is a time of crisis for Sanskrit language and also for us… But such is our plight under your Sanskrit-loving regime?”
“Earlier, the one-year contract would get automatically renewed, like in private sector jobs. There are people who have taught here for about a decade now, their contracts being renewed each year,” said a Sanskrit teacher from the university. “Now we are being asked to compete with fresh candidates for the jobs we have been doing for years and on which our income is dependent.”
Vice-chancellor PN Shastri said the institution was yet to take a call on the grievances.