Against UGC norms, 76 profs re-employed by Pbi varsity
Punjabi University, Patiala, is in the eye of a storm over re-employment of 76 professors and assistant professors against UGC norms and at the cost of unemployed youth.
The state Audit Department has not been clearing the salary of the re-employed teachers for the past few months due to the violation of norms.
The state government has also taken note of the alleged violations and called the university authorities for a meeting on September 10.
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has reportedly received a complaint regarding re-employment by the university. He has asked Principal Secretary, Education, to call university officials for an explanation of their decisions. The state government has also recently stopped extension of service in several categories.
While the university says it was using the expertise and experience of the professors, the Audit Department, citing a UGC rule, says only eminent professors can be re-employed and, that too, as a stop-gap arrangement.
The audit official has sent several reminders to the university authorities since April to clarify who among the re-employed were eminent. The university officials are yet to reply.
Not just the audit objection, the re-employment has upset youth who despite having completed PhD are awaiting openings in the university for long.
Sources in the Audit Department said the university can recruit 200-300 teachers fresh instead of paying the salary package of the re-employed teachers.
Some PhD scholars, who are employed at meagre salaries in private schools or working at less than Rs 5,000 per month with the Sarv Siksha Abhiyaan, have claimed that they have been seeking jobs at the university, but the vacancies are blocked due to extension to retired teachers.
A re-employed teacher gets pension between Rs 60,000-80,000 and 50 per cent of the last-drawn salary on re-employment. A freshly recruited Assistant Professor gets about Rs 16,000 as salary for the probation period of two years.
Punjabi University Registrar Dr Devinder Singh said there was nothing wrong with re-employment. “The university is an autonomous body. We have re-employed the teachers to utilise their experience and expertise. We will inform the state government about the reasons on September 10.”
Audit officer Kartar Singh, who is a state government employee and posted with the university, said he had followed rules in objecting to the salary of the re-employed teachers. “As per UGC rules, only eminent scholars can be re-employed. The university has not specified, despite several reminders, how many of the 76 are eminent?”