Teachers at Narendra Deva University of Agriculture and Technology on strike
Teachers at Narendra Deva University of Agriculture and Technology, Kumarganj, Faizabad are on a non-cooperation movement since December 17 last year, reports Pankaj Jaiswal.
Teachers at Narendra Deva University of Agriculture and Technology, Kumarganj, Faizabad are on a non-cooperation movement since December 17 last year. Like the rest of state employees they too want sixth pay commission benefits, the first thing they demand is at least the salaries-whatever they were getting. For four months they did not get their salary.
So there's no teaching, no exams, and no research. All 1200 students have gone home due to the salary deadlock and hostels are also vacant.
"On top of this the university administration was trying to suppress the agitation by filing FIRs against the union leaders," said Narendra Deva University of Agriculture and Technology Teachers' Association (NUTA) president, Dr Ram Pratap Singh.
The teaching and research have come to a standstill and so are some administrative works because all teachers and daily wage employees are on strike.
This is not for the first time that salary problem has cropped up at the university. The problem has been going on for the past two-and-a-half years. So, whenever the teachers were paid, it was in bits and pieces.
The vice chancellor of the university, Dr Basant Ram, said there was no money to pay salaries. According to him the problem has its origin in 1998 when the university's budget was frozen and his predecessors did nothing to lift the freeze. They instead kept on paying salaries by diverting research and construction funds, which exacerbated the problem. It needed a sorting out at the government level.
NUTA president does not buy VC's arguments. He said: "If there was such a fund crunch to pay the existing staff, then why the university appointed more people by filling up the vacant posts. They have spent Rs 300 crore from government on construction, roads and electricity. Those things could been kept on hold."
Akhilesh Singh, president of the employees' union said: "It's not that the students vanished on their own. The Registrar issued orders for emptying the hostels after postponing exams."
Both the unions-the teachers and employees--have petitioned the government several times-be it all the principal secretaries and ministers of the departments concerned, chief minister's principal secretary or the cabinet secretary-on the issue.
The government in 1998 froze the salary budget of Narendra Deva University of Agriculture and Technology, Kumarganj, Faizabad. It was Rs 11.50 crore per annum then. So the government gives only this amount while in twelve years salary requirement (due to promotion, salary hikes and appointments) has gone up to Rs 30 crore.
At present, the university has dues totaling up to Rs 57.7 crore to clear of the teachers and staff. It already has Rs 28 crore liabilities on it as it paid this amount from other funds as salaries to the staff.