Bengal Varsity Teachers Oppose State’s Move to Curb Financial Autonomy of Institutes
Reiterating their opposition to the West Bengal government’s alleged move to curb the financial autonomy of state universities by introducing the human resource management system (HRMS), nine university teacher organisations on Wednesday claimed that the state’s higher education department was yet to pay heed to their stand.
Denying the teachers’ claims, a senior state official said the department had called a meeting with the finance officers of 12 state universities on Wednesday to discuss financial issues and not specifically the HRMS.
“At the first meeting on September 20, views of the finance officers of state universities were sought about bringing the teaching and non-teaching staff under the HRMS,” the official of the state higher education department said.
Under the HRMS, the salaries of the teaching and non-teaching staff of the varsities will be directly credited to their accounts.
In the current system, the state government transfers the funds to the accounts of state universities, which in turn pay their staff.
Threatening to launch a stir if the government went ahead with HRMS, nine teacher organisations including Calcutta University Teachers Association (CUTA), Jadavpur University Teachers Association (JUTA), Rabindra Bharati University Teachers Association (RBUTA), Burdwan University Teachers Association (BUTA) and West Bengal State University Teachers Association (WBSUTA said, “The move will unnecessarily complicate the process of salary disbursement, pension and other retirment benefits, promotions and pay fixations, etc, which are smoothly done by the universities.” Reaffirming their stand against the “unethical initiative,” the organisations in a letter to Education Minister Bratya Basu called for “immediate halt of the attempt, failing which we are ready to explore all possible means and manners of democratic protest against the government.” JUTA general secretary Partha Pratim Roy told PTI that the teacher bodies will announce future course of action if the government did not “listen to our just demands,” by this week.
In the previous letter to the education minister, the organisations had said, “We would sincerely expect that your department shall consider the concerns of the teachers’ associations seriously and shall prevent itself from playing with the autonomous status of the public-funded universities”.
Notably, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had last month threatened to stop funding of those state universities that function as per the directives of Governor CV Ananda Bose.
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)