Girish S. Pattanashetti

Ambiguity in interpretation of a Government Order said to be the reason

It pertains to grant-in-aid rules governing aided private polytechnics

Polytechnic staff to continue their agitation

HUBLI: Ambiguity in the interpretation of a Government Order on the grant-in-aid rules governing aided private polytechnics in the State has left the teaching and non-teaching staff of polytechnics without their salary since the last six months.

This has forced the polytechnic staff to choose the path of agitation to highlight their problems.

Since January 31, the staffs of the Tippu Shahid Institute of Technology and SGES Rural Polytechnic, Tarihal (Hubli), are staging indefinite dharna in front of the office of the Hubli tahsildar, under the aegis of the North Karnataka Aided Polytechnic Employees’ Welfare Association.

According to official sources, the teaching and non-teaching staffs of 27 aided private polytechnics in the State have not received their salary since July 2007.

Suresh Talawar, president of the association, said, “We are facing this problem since 2001, when these institutions were given grant-in-aid. In fact, there are seven other aided polytechnics in the State that were given grant-in-aid before 2001. They receive 100 per cent grant to cover almost all expenditure, whereas these 27 institutions receive only salary grants and that too not regularly.”

27 institutions

According to official sources, more than 2,000 teaching and non-teaching staffs in these 27 institutions are now facing problems because of the non-release of salary grants. According to the conditions of the grant-in-aid, the State Government pays 85 per cent of the salary of the staff and the respective management boards pay the remaining amount.

“Even after getting the grant-in-aid we had to wait for 13 months to get our first salary. This is not the first time that we are agitating. In 2004, we agitated for a month to press for our demands. Now we have been forced again to do the same,” said W.J. Hombal, vice-principal of SGES Rural Polytechnic.

Ever since the polytechnics were given grant-in-aid, the management boards were remitting 50 per cent of the fees collected from students to the Board of Technical Education, which in turn released the salary grants.

However, problems started when the Audit Department took objection to the payment of only 50 per cent of the fees to the Board. They insisted the management boards remit 100 per cent of the fees to the Board. However, the management boards expressed their inability to do so. They said they would not be able to run the institutions, as they received no other grant from the Government barring 85 per cent of the salary grants.

“Instead of sorting out the issue among the management boards and the Board of Technical Education, the amount towards the remaining 50 per cent of the fees is being deducted from the salary of the staff,” said polytechnic instructors E.J. Hombal, A. Prabhakar and Ravindra Singh.

They said that they were not getting benefits such as hike in Dearness Allowance, extended to staff of other aided institutions.

When contacted, an official in the Board of Technical Education confirmed that there was ambiguity in the interpretation of the Government Order passed in 1997.

“While some say that according to the order the management boards should pay 100 per cent of the fees to the Board, others say that it is only 50 per cent. We are now releasing the salary to the polytechnics according to the audit reports,” the official said. Meanwhile, the polytechnic staff have decided to continue their agitation and students are also likely to join.