PUNE: It came as a shocking blow to as many as 300 professors of Sinhgad Technical Education Society (STES) when they received a sudden termination letter from the management. Besides these, around 50 professors have been transferred to Lonavla campus of STES.
Interestingly, all these professors were part of the strike against the administration on the pending salary issue for past six months. The professors have still not received a penny of their 18 months’ salary, said the affected professors.
“The termination happened in three ways. Those who were on probation were told to discontinue their association with the college, while Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) approved permanent employees were given a two-page letter citing reason for termination and those approved assistant professors by the University Grants Commission (UGC) have been transferred to Lonavla as they cannot directly terminate them,” said Aniket Patil, a professor at Sinhgad College of Engineering (SCOE) who had been on probation but was given a relieving letter.
“They have given reasons like, professors were involved in activities which defamed the reputation of Sinhgad Educational Institution, it is not favourable to have such professors, the protests have disturbed the schedule of student academy, etc. Nevertheless, STES has not followed any of the rules of termination. They had neither given us any memo nor did we serve a notice of one or two months as per the university rules,” said Patil.
Among these affected professors, many of them have taken loans and most of them are the only source of income in their house and have been unable to sustain their normal livelihood for over a year now.
Mahesh Tanpore, another professor at SCOE and a solo earner who had got married two years ago, said that he feels depressed and has lost confidence. “I got married two years ago and I am unable to even think of starting a family. These financial problems have appeared only a few months after my marriage. Besides, I am the only earner in my house and my parents live in our native place in Indapur, I have to take care of them as well and keep sending money regularly. But in past few months, the situation is such that I am asking for money from them for survival,” said Tanpore.
When Seema Jadhav, another assistant professor at SCOE returned from her maternity leave, she was shocked to learn that the college has not been paying salaries for several months. Even Jadhav had not received her salary for 2017. Moreover, the college didn’t give her approval letter of UGC.
“In December 2016, I got a letter from UGC of assistant professor. According to UGC norms, after one year of completing probation period from the time of receiving this letter, we get an approval letter from the college. But immediately after I received this letter, I had gone on maternity leave for six months. And the college used this as an excuse and said that I have not completed one year, therefore, when others received their approval letter in February, they assured me that I will get it in August, but before that, they handed us the termination letter,” said Jadhav who has been a professor at SCOE for almost one and a half year.
Chetan Patil, a professor who has been working with STES for two years is among the terminated professors. “As per university rules, a professor can be considered as a permanent employee once he/she completes 24 months in the organisation. However, I have still not received a permanent letter from them but a termination letter,” said Patil, whose son is only three and half months old and has a family of five more members.
There are approximately 2,000 professors associated with STES, out of which 1,100 professors had raised their voice against non-payment of salaries.
LIST OF COLLEGES WHICH TERMINATED PROFESSORS
- Sou Venutai Chavan Polytechnic College (SVCP), Vadgaon - 7
- NBN Sinhgad School of Engineering, Ambegaon - 25
- Smt Kashibai Navale Medical College and General Hospital (SKN), Vadgaon - 39
- RMD Sinhgad School of Engineering - 46
- Sinhgad Institute of Technology and Science (SITS) - 36
- Sinhgad Academy of Engineering (SAE) - 30
- Sinhgad Institute of Technology (SIT), Lonavla - 26
- SKN Sinhgad Institute of Technology & Science (SKNSITS) - 20
- Sinhgad College of Arts, Commerce and Science - 2
- Sinhgad Institute of Pharmacy -1 terminated and 7 transferred.