The recently-recruited teachers of the Indian Maritime University (IMU), who were in news for not having been paid salaries and being forced to go on contracts, have been assured their jobs are safe.

This was announced by P.K. Sinha, secretary, Ministry of Shipping, at a press conference on the University campus on Tuesday. Mr. Sinha said he had come to Chennai to bring to a close the controversy over irregularities in faculty recruitment and other issues at IMU.

The issue began with the recruitment of nearly 30 faculty members by the former IMU V-C G. Raghuram. In February however, the faculty members, 19 of whom had joined, were asked to sign a letter that stated they would be on contract.

Earlier, a committee had been formed by the ministry to look into the recruitments citing irregularities. The teachers refused to sign since their recruitment had been ratified by the executive council of the University. Last month, Dr. Raghuram and the registrar M. Anand quit IMU.

Discussing some of the findings of the review committee, Mr. Sinha said the recruitment was largely done as per norms. “There were a few irregularities, especially in maintaining the ratio of contractual and permanent teachers, but the recruitment was not done in excess,” he said. He added that he had spoken to the new teachers and found them to be quite suited and well-qualified for the jobs. 

“Once the executive council looks into it, their salaries will be released,” he said. 

He also said the ministry officials had not issued any letter of contract that was to be signed by the faculty members. “We have no clue as to where the letter came from,” he said.  

Mr. Sinha said another phase of recruitment was planned soon. He said attempts are also being made to launch new courses and improve the placement scenario. “The shipping sector is slow now and so the availability of jobs is a problem. We are looking at tie-ups with the industry,” he said.

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