Cusat teachers urge govt. to withdraw order

Faculty members at the School of Engineering at the Cochin University of Science and Technology (Cusat) have flayed the government’s decision not to bear the financial burden arising out of their appointment.

Teachers, who had been expecting regularisation, were in for a shock after the Higher Education Department issued an order on February 4, stating that the financial commitments (including salary and pension) should be met from the internal revenue of the School of Engineering.

The varsity authorities had requested the government to give concurrence to the appointment of 102 faculty members and 67 non-teaching staff. The first appointments were made in 1999. They were paid scales as per University Grants Commission (UGC) / All India Council for Technical Association (AICTE) norms.

The faculty members pointed out that their appointments were made exactly in the same manner as in the case of other teaching posts at the university. The promotion of teachers is also effected in accordance with the guidelines of UGC / AICTE and the government, they said.

The teachers recalled that the School of Engineering was started under the Cusat Act, 1986 as a constituent organisation of the varsity and not as a self-financing institution. The appointments were made from the common pool of teachers and by adhering to the communal rotation register for appointment of permanent / regular teachers.

“The contents and conditions specified in the Government Order are contrary to facts and provisions of the Cochin University of Science and Technology Act, 1986. The university has not started any self-financing schools of engineering as stated in the order, as the SOE is a department under it,” said G. Ajithkumar, professor and general secretary, Cochin University Teachers Forum.

“Hence, the order is illegal and has to be withdrawn or modified to make it explicitly clear that it is not applicable to those who had already been appointed to the posts, and that their salaries and pensions are to be met from the Cochin University Fund defined in the Cusat Act, 1986,” he added.

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