PUTA polls: No legal hiccups, candidates launch campaign
Unlike last year, there are no legal hiccups ahead of the Punjabi University Teachers’ Association (PUTA) elections yet this year.
In such scenario, the two main alliances in fray — Teachers’ United Front (TUF) and Progressive Teachers’ Alliance (PTA) — have started campaign in the varsity’s research and academic departments and centres. The elections are slated for September 13 and only regular and ad hoc faculty working on the varsity campus, at the regional centres and neighbourhood campuses, can participate in the election.
PUTA elections were revived last year after a gap of eight years. Last year, teachers of constituent colleges had approached the Punjab and Haryana high court (HC) for not being given voting and membership rights in PUTA. However, the high court refused to put any stay on the election process.
In 2012, a Barnala constituent college teacher had moved to the HC over the same issue, following which, the court had ordered the university to not declare the elections results. The petition was dismissed on April 8 last year.
Jaswinder Singh Brar is candidate of TUF for president’s post, while Bhupinder Singh Virk is PTA candidate for the post.
Aiming to woo faculty members, the representatives of both the alliances approached their colleagues in different research departments on Tuesday. The members of the alliances listed out their priorities and demands of the teachers.
Both the alliance have come up with almost same promises in their manifestoes. The alliances have promised implementation of seventh pay commission, release of pending instalments of dearness allowance (DA), improvement of financial condition of the university, revival of old pension scheme for the faculty appointed 2004, streamlining of national pension scheme, time bound release of retiree benefits post superannuation and promotions to teaching faculty as per Career Advancement Scheme (CAS) norms.
The alliances have also promised revival of leave travelling concession (LTC). The alliances have specifically mentioned about bridging gaps between the university campus, the neighbourhood campuses and the regional centres.
Kesar Singh Bhangoo, co-convener of TUF, said that they have included genuine issues that are being faced by the university faculty in their manifesto.
“We have always countered the university administration for their wrongdoings and have worked for interest of the teaching faculty,” Bhangoo said.
Meanwhile, incumbent president Bhupinder Singh Virk, PTA candidate for the post of president, listed out the issues taken by PUTA body in the last tenure.
“During last tenure, we have fulfilled the promise of headship to assistant professors having eight years of experience, as it has already been passed by Syndicate body. Moreover, we have taken up matter pertaining to promotion of teachers with varsity management, following which the promotion cases of 72 teachers are under consideration,” Virk said.
He added that even this year, the teachers’ issues are given due importance in their manifesto and they are committed to fulfilling all promises made.