Teachers in all 557 engineering colleges under Anna University have a reason to cheer — the university has warned all affiliated institutes of strict action if they hold back the certificates or salaries of teachers.

This action, said university registrar S. Ganeshan, was initiated after they received many complaints from teachers in private institutions that their college managements had confiscated their certificates and did not return them when they wished to resign. “This is one way of retaining teachers. Due to this, many young graduates stick to their jobs at low salaries,” he said. 

Prof. Ganeshan said the managements have also been asked to adhere to the pay scales fixed by AICTE for teachers. “From this year, we will take into account the behaviour of the college managements while renewing the affiliations of institutions.”

In a recent circular, the university instructed principals to provide proper relieving orders and service certificates whenever faculty members resign from their post.

Teachers in private institutions have welcomed the move. “Under the pretext of verifying our certificates, college managements ask us to surrender all certificates. When we resign, they ask us to work for three months without salary to get our certificates back. Even then, it is not easy getting them,” said K. Shanmuga, a teacher in a private college. 

Last year, many teachers were not allowed to appear for Ph.D interviews conducted by the university, because colleges refused to return the required certificates, university officials said.

Another teacher, D. Manivannan, said most private colleges did not provide service certificates, bonafide certificates or even recommendation letters to their teachers even if they had spent over five years teaching there.

College managements, however, are not happy with the university’s orders. A director of a group of engineering colleges here said, “Teachers leave a college within barely one year of joining, for a job in another college with a small increase in salary. The training given to them is wasted, and new faculty has to be hired in the middle of the year, which affects students.”

“The university should impose a rule that a teacher should spend at least three years in an institution so that private managements will not have to look for other ways to retain them,” he added.