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AU?s ?through proper channel? lesson to staff

FOR THE first time after attaining the coveted Central status, the Allahabad University (AU) authorities have begun an exercise to tighten the grip over its teaching and non-teaching staff.
None | By K Sandeep Kumar, Allahabad
PUBLISHED ON MAR 25, 2006 12:12 AM IST

FOR THE first time after attaining the coveted Central status, the Allahabad University (AU) authorities have begun an exercise to tighten the grip over its teaching and non-teaching staff.

Fed up with the practice of varsity employees, writing letters directly to the Governor, Chief Minister, the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the Union Ministry of HRD even over petty matters and embarrassing the varsity, top AU officials have now spelled out stringent norms of the channel of communication that all AU staff will have to adhere to.

The new order restricts all the varsity employees, including teachers from communicating directly with anyone by bypassing their superiors.

As per a letter sent by AU Registrar Prof US Rai to all the deans of the faculties, directors of the university institutes, heads of varsity's independent centres, heads of the departments and various offices and units, the decision to enforce the new norms for communication was taken at a meeting held on November 8, 2005. The meeting was chaired by the AU Vice-Chancellor and was attended by all top AU officials.

The letter makes it clear that henceforth all communications addressed to higher functionaries/officers and the authorities of the university have to be endorsed by the dean concerned, the director of the institute or the HoD as the case may be.

As per the new guidelines, all communications addressed to authorities outside the university, such as the visitor, the MHRD, the UGC too have to be endorsed by the Dean concerned, the director of the institute or the HoD as the case may be and also by the AU VC or an officer nominated by him in this regard.

The letter also makes it clear that a copy of all such forwarded communication should be retained by the forwarding officer/functionary for office record. This initiative by the VC is being viewed as a move that could well end up saving him as well as the university from embarrassing situations of coming to know about any incident or development at AU only when queried by the Union Ministry or the UGC in this regard and then having to put all their energies in getting out of the mess.

However, critics are annoyed over the new order and term it as an attempt to gag opposition. They point out that even the former AU VC Prof GK Mehta had tried to enforce almost a similar order in 2002 that was vehemently opposed by the varsity teachers and the employees in unison and ultimately had to be shelved after being opposed even at an Executive Council meeting.

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