Staff crunch worsens as Panjab University relives 58 teachers, humanities departments worst-hit

Published on Sep 26, 2022 03:23 AM IST

French and Russian language departments at the Panjab University are left with no regular teacher after the retirements, with only one regular serving on extension

Panjab University relived 58 teachers amid staff crunch, humanities departments to face brunt. (HT File)
Panjab University relived 58 teachers amid staff crunch, humanities departments to face brunt. (HT File)
By, Chandigarh

The retirement of 58 teachers at the Panjab University (PU) has dealt another body blow to the varsity’s languages and humanities departments.

Hours after the Punjab and Haryana high court vacated its 2016 stay order allowing five-year extension in retirement age to PU faculty, the varsity on Thursday evening relieved 58 faculty members. Several of these departments have now been left with only a limited roster of teachers, of which even fewer are regulars.

Notably, the Russian language department is left with no regular teacher after the retirements, with only one regular serving on extension. Similarly, the French language department has no regular faculty, while the varsity now does not have any teacher at all in the Chinese languages department. However, the department does have a few guest faculties.

The evening studies department also has no regular teacher for political science following the recent retirements.

In several other departments, the faculty strength has also come down critically. The strength for the department of history has fallen to four regular teachers. With the varsity handing out relieving orders to 58 faculty members, its overall regular faculty strength also came down to around 580 — in turn affecting the student-teacher ratio.

With no appointment of teachers in years, with the added retirements, the varsity has been grappling with a shortfall of teachers. The last recruitment took place in 2014.

PU senator and chairperson of history department, Priyatosh Sharma, said, “The University must recruit guest faculty in the departments for the current semester for the smooth academics. Re-employment can also be offered to the retiring faculty members under UGC rules, once their case is settled in the court.”

As per regulations, the varsity can re-employ retired teachers for up to five more years. It is learnt that the varsity is considering to re-employ teachers and a committee may be formed to consider the cases

“All 58 teachers should be re-employed as per the prevalent rules to continue teaching and research activities smoothly. University authorities have to work seriously for the implementation of 65 years as age for superannuation as per the UGC rules. Otherwise, many experienced teachers would rush to other central institutes in the near future,” senator Jatinder Grover said.

The Panjab University Teachers Association (PUTA) also held a meeting of its executive on Friday after the teachers were relieved by varsity, deliberating upon the matter. However, they are yet to come forward with an official statement on the same.

PU registrar, YP Verma, meanwhile, said, “The university is in process of starting the recruitment of teachers and priority will be given to the worst affected departments.”

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Dar Ovais is a Chandigarh-based Hindustan Times correspondent who covers higher education.

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