Karnataka

100 staff transferred in UAS, Dharwad, in July

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‘A large number of those transferred have been demoralised’

The University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad, in an unprecedented move, transferred at least 100 teachers, scientists and those in extension services in July. This has not gone down well with some research funding agencies.

Some scientists have been transferred from their specialised crop to an unconnected crop, while others have been moved to teaching positions. In some instances, teachers have been moved to research work while others have been moved between locations in Dharwad, Vijayapura and Sirsi, unsettling scores of people professionally and personally.

Even those working on projects approved by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) have not been spared. However, some working on ad-hoc projects with external funding have been allowed to continue with their projects for a brief period.

CICR’s stand

Meanwhile, the Central Institute for Cotton Research (CICR), Nagpur, which has a deep engagement with the university, is now contemplating stopping funds for cotton research.

UAS-D has been an important partner in cotton research for CICR in the country. “We will allocate projects and funds considering the specialisation and knowledge of the scientists. If transfers in cotton-related projects are not reversed, we will stop funding,” a top CICR functionary said.

“It is a classic case of killing enthusiasm among scientists and a large number of those transferred have been demoralised. Many of us would have been attached with a crop for a long time and the transfer to another crop means starting our research life afresh,” a senior scientist, who has been posted to a teaching position, said on condition of anonymity. The scientist also pointed out that these transfers would not only be a setback for research, but also a drain on resources as research work would be affected.

Acknowledging transfers of “around 100 staff”, Vice-Chancellor of the university D.P. Biradar told The Hindu that the staff had been redeployed. He said that many of those transferred were in their departments for over 15 years. “We have over 30 research stations and about 50 per cent of posts in the university are vacant. Some researchers were moved to save the projects the university could have lost. Teaching posts also had to be filled.”

Dr. Biradar said that research work would not be affected by the transfers as breeding and crop management principles remained the same.

All eyes on UAS-D

Special Correspondent

The Central Institute for Cotton Research is closely looking forward to a breakthrough at the University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad where work on compact varieties of cotton is currently under way. “While about 11,000 to 15,000 plants are being planted in a hectare in India at present, 1.5 lakh plants could be planted in a hectare if there is breakthrough. Research is at a very advanced stage at Dharwad. The sudden transfer of another lead scientist to a teaching post could affect this work,” a CICR source said and added that the breakthrough would have helped overcome the current stagnation in cotton yield that is 500 to 550 kg of fibre per hectare.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 1:17:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/100-staff-transferred-in-uas-dharwad-in-july/article6578712.ece

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