University’s official allegedly roughed up; complaints lodged with police

Members of Bharathidasan University Staff Welfare Association on Monday staged a demonstration on Monday and forced the university to desist from taking a decision on regularising services of 16 non-teaching staff at a scheduled meeting of the Syndicate, citing the State government’s directive to the university to make such appointments only through the employment exchange.

The demonstrators raised slogans raising apprehensions that the financial crisis that Annamalai University finds itself in will befall Bharathidasan University in the absence of fiscal discipline.

As the over 400 non-teaching staff members moved into the university and resumed their slogan-shouting closer to the venue of the meeting of the Syndicate, Vice Chancellor K. Meena invited the representatives for talks after alerting the police.

Prior to the meeting of the Syndicate, Ms. Meena assured the representatives of the non-teaching staff in the presence of the police that while the agenda would not be deferred, a final decision on the issue would not be taken at the meeting. The employees dispersed thereafter.

A section of the agitating employees roughed up Director of the Grievances Redressal Cell P. Govindasamy.

The university has forwarded a complaint filed by Prof. Govindasamy with the Registrar S. Aruchamy to the Navalpattu police. Prof. Govindasamy who was later admitted to Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Government Hospital has preferred a separate complaint.

A few days ago, the association furnished to the Registrar the decision taken by the university on February 18, 2010 to appoint non-teaching staff only through the employment exchange.

A Syndicate Sub-Committee had also recommended discontinuing 75 temporary staff from the services as the overall strength of 522 non-teaching staff was excessive in a situation where a number of affiliated colleges had attained autonomous status and 91 B.Ed. colleges had gone out of the university’s fold after the formation of Tamil Nadu Teachers Education University.

“In the wake of the financial crisis at Annamalai University caused by excessive appointments disproportionate to requirement, needless recruitment at Bharathidasan University have put employees in a state of worry,” S. Shanmugam, association president, said.

The university’s BC and MBC Association had moved the Madras High Court opposing the university’s move to regularise the services of the 16 employees.

A decision on the issue could be taken by the university only after the final judgement by the court, Mr. Shanmugam said.

He said the Registrar had furnished in the information sought by him under the RTI Act that 551 applications were received for the 16 posts after the 16 vacancies were advertised in a vernacular newspaper, but had submitted in an affidavit to the court that there were only 91 applicants.

The Vice Chancellor said that the decision to appoint the 16 non-teaching staff was taken under a provision of the Bharathidasan University Act only after informing the employment exchange twice.

University authorities said the issue was listed on the agenda for discussion by the Syndicate in the wake of the High Court vacating the stay and permitting the university to go ahead with the appointments.