Free Press Journal

­DAVV teachers observe hunger strike over autonomy issue


Indore : Nearly a month after the State Assembly passed the Madhya Pradesh University Act (Sanshodhan)-2014, a faction of DAVV teachers on Thursday went on mass leave and also observed a hunger strike alleging that the State Government has attempted to rob the state universities of the autonomy through the amendments.

“MP University Act (Sanshodhan)-2014 is an attack on the autonomy of state universities and in all likelihood is to halt growth of the universities. We are against the changes in the Act and we appeal to the Governor, who also happens to be the Chancellor of the state universities, not to approve the changes,” said PN Mishra, the senior most professor of the Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya (DAVV).

Highlighting an amendment pertaining to transfer of teaching and non-teaching staff from one university to another, Mishra said that the amendment threatens to change the employer of university employees without seeking their wish.

“This isn’t right. If I don’t want to change my employer, I should not be forced. The amendment is against the natural justice,” Mishra added.

Other striking teachers of the university also agreed with Mishra.

Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya Teachers Association president Nagendra Sohni said that the transfer of teachers would not only affect the teachers but also the university concerned.

“Both will be at the receiving end but more concerning is that the amendment will create complex situations and hit research work adversely. If a teacher having research project of some funding agency is transferred to other university, the project will be in jeopardy. Most of research projects are awarded individually and are non-transferable,” he explained. School of Commerce head Rajendra Singh said that the government seemed to have thought a little what would be the fate of PhD scholars if their guides were transferred to other universities.

All together but still divided

No teacher in the DAVV is in favour of the amendments in the Act but not all come together to stand against the amendments due to fear of the government. The Department of Higher Education had sent a letter to the DAVV registrar directing him to cut salary of those who abstain from work on Thursday to protest against the amendments.

The DEVTA officials admitted that many teachers did not join the strike due to fear of government but claimed that they all are united.

Secretary of DEVTA Laxman Shinde said that they would send letters seeking withdrawal of the amendments to Raj Bhawan, Rashtrapati Bhawan, PMO, MHRD and UGC.

Change in Section 49 is evil!

The government effected two changes in the Act, one made it powerful in the Executive Council of the university and another threatened universities to fill vacancies else it will do the needful.

The teacher objection is on latter one (Section 49).

The amendment made in Section 49 empowers government to appoint teachers and employees in the university, if the university did not fill vacancies.

“Notwithstanding anything contained in Section 49, the State Government may direct the university to make appointment of teachers of the university by the Public Service Commission,” the amendment says and adds that the state government may also direct the university to make appointment to the post of Class III and Class IV cadre by selection through the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board or similar government agency. This amendment goes on to add: “If the government is satisfied that a situation has arisen in the university whereby the day-to-day work is not being performed due to vacancies or any other reason reported to the state government, then the government shall have power transfer teachers or other employees from one university to another or to send teacher or employees on deputation to the university for proper functioning.”

It shall be binding on the university to give effect to the direction given under this section.

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