The state government has said Presidency University wouldn’t be able to pay more salary to retain teachers. This comes after seven teachers quit the institution because of poor pay.
The state government is, however, giving the university Rs 4.10 crore to improve its infrastructure besides asking vice-chancellor Malabika Sarkar to request the mentor group to conduct a few classes.
“Although seven teachers have quit Presidency, it does not mean that we have reasons to panic. This is a natural phenomenon in all the state universities. People change jobs to better their careers,” education minister Bratya Basu said.
Teachers, who left the university, said their salary was much less than their former employment in central universities or foreign universities.
West Bengal State Council for Higher Education chairman Sugata Marjit said it wouldn’t be possible to give better pay packages to Presidency teachers. “Presidency is a state-aided university. We can’t violate the law and offer teachers more salary. It’s legally not possible. Moreover, we have never asked Presidency to recruit faculty from foreign varsities.” He added, “The government is already offering extra grants to Presidency teachers for research. The university is also being given several chair professors.”
“All the members of the mentor group are well known academicians. If they take a few classes every year at their convenience, it will help the institution. We have asked the vicechancellor to float the idea to the mentor group,” Marjit said.
Harvard historian Sugata Bose heads the nine-member mentor group. Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen is the group’s adviser.
On Monday, education minister Bratya Basu assured Malabika Sarkar that the government would give an additional grant of Rs 4.10 crore. “We will use the money to upgrade Baker Laboratory and to renovate the staff room of the main academic block,” Sarkar said.