In what could be a severe blow to teachers appointed on a permanent basis in self-financing courses at the Cochin University of Science and Technology (Cusat), the government has informed varsity authorities that payment of arrears following the implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission was not its liability.

This means faculty members of the self-financing stream, that comprise almost 50 per cent of the total teacher strength at Cusat, will not get arrears due to teachers of State-run colleges and universities.

Though the appointments were made as per provisions of the Cochin University of Science and Technology Act, the government had not given its accord for these recruitments.

As per initial estimates, about Rs.10 crore is required to pay the arrears due to the permanent faculty in the self-financing stream, while it is around Rs.14 crore for those posts ratified by the government. There are nearly 267 regular posts in the university. Fifty-six per cent of this remains vacant.

The university authorities confessed that payment of arrears to the self-financing faculty from the fee generated from the self-financing stream was ruled out considering the severe financial crisis at Cusat. The varsity is presently in need of about Rs. 49 crore under the non-plan sector to meet the salary requirement of its staff.

But self-financing permanent faculty members pointed out that they were entitled for all the service conditions including pension. The appointments in the university were done on the basis of the provisions included in the Act and hence they were also eligible for arrears, they said.

A senior official pointed out that the arrears due to the permanent faculty members in the self-financing sector could be given, if the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) provided the financial assistance.

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