The teaching and non-teaching staff of aided-colleges of Punjab — who are backed by their college principals — have decided to intensify their struggle and mount pressure on the government for the release of 95% grant-in-aid to these colleges.
The first step in this direction will be boycotting the ongoing university semester examinations on December 15 and 19.
None of the examination centres in as many as 132 aided-colleges will function on December 15 and 19. The entire teaching faculty and non-teaching staff of the aided colleges of Panjab University, Punjabi University and Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU) will not perform any duty related to the conduct of
examinations on the two days.
The decision came at a meeting of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of aided colleges held in Ludhiana on Tuesday. The nine-member JAC comprises principals of three aided colleges, three representatives of teaching faculty and three members of non-teaching staff.
Confirming the decision, Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union (PCCTU) state general secretary HS Walia told Hindustan Times here on Wednesday that after abstaining from examination duty, the teachers and non-teaching staff would hold joint protest rallies at their respective institutions.
Narinder Kaur, principal, Mata Ganga Girls College, Tarn Taran; Waryam Singh, principal Baba Budha College, Bir Sahib; Surinder Bangar, principal, Sri Guru Angad Dev College, Khadoor Sahib, and Paramvir Singh, principal, Guru Gobind Singh Khalsa College, Sarhali, have also supported the JAC decision.
In a separate release, they have endorsed the examination boycott decision. Walia pointed out that the grant-in-aid by the government had not been released since May last year.
“This has put tremendous pressure on all the aided-colleges and many of them are virtually on the brink of closure,” he added.
“A number of teachers and non-teaching staff in these colleges have been working without salary for the last one year and despite repeated pleas, the government remains unmoved to the plight of the aided-colleges, which are the back bone of higher education in the state,” stated Walia.
Walia appealed to chief minister Parkash Singh Badal to immediately release the pending grant. He categorically said if the aided-colleges shut down, the higher education would be in doldrums.