Mumbai: 164 Alumni Of TISS Issue Statement Protesting Arbitrary Staff Cuts

Mumbai: 164 Alumni Of TISS Issue Statement Protesting Arbitrary Staff Cuts

In a joint statement, 164 alumni expressed their deep concern over the fate of the Advanced Centre for Women's Studies, which has been a part of TISS for over four decades.

Megha ChowdhuryUpdated: Friday, July 05, 2024, 03:34 PM IST
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164 TISS alumni sign statement protesting arbitrary staff cuts | Representative Image

Mumbai: The Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) has been caught up in a controversy surrounding the termination of contractual faculty and non-teaching staff under the UGC 12th Plan.

The story so far:

Over 100 staff members of the TISS were in for a shock, after they received termination letters on June 28, only to be told two days later that the letters had been withdrawn.

However the statement has been met with criticism as it has failed to address the root problems and had a lack of transparency on the regularisation of employment of contractual staff.

In a joint statement, 164 alumni expressed their deep concern over the fate of the Advanced Centre for Women's Studies, which has been a part of TISS for over four decades.

Demands for Clarity

The alumni highlighted the impact on students, including PhD and MA students who are anxious about their academic future. With the new academic year starting soon, the AWS demanded clarity on who will teach the courses.

The AWS is seeking a long-term solution to ensure the stability and continuity of the Women's Studies program at TISS. They emphasised the importance of the Advanced Centre for Women's Studies, which has been a pioneering institution in the field of women's studies and gender research.

Faculty being excluded from crucial processes

The AWS has also drawn attention to a disturbing trend at TISS, where faculty members are increasingly being excluded from crucial processes such as teacher recruitment and student admissions. This lack of inclusion not only undermines the dignity and expertise of faculty but also perpetuates a harmful hierarchy that stifles democratic functioning within the institution.

"We demand that faculties are included in key decision making processes of the institute, regarding recruitment, admission, functioning of the institution and any decision making regarding their own schools and centres," as stated in their statement.

A senior faculty member, who wished to remain anonymous, revealed that concerns about job security had been lingering for a month before the termination letters were issued.

"Some staff members have dedicated up to fifteen years of service to TISS, yet we've been met with silence," the faculty member said. "We've been sending emails to Pro-VC Shankar Das, who reports to VC Manoj Tiwari, for two to three months, but unfortunately, we've received no response or clarity on the matter."

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