BU expresses inability pay the salaries of UVCE staff for March

UVCE staff decide to stage a protest against Karnataka government

March 27, 2023 10:43 pm | Updated March 28, 2023 10:06 am IST - Bengaluru

University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering ( UVCE ) building on Devaraj Urs Road in Bengaluru. Karnataka government had announced that the UVCE would be developed on the lines of an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT). 

University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering ( UVCE ) building on Devaraj Urs Road in Bengaluru. Karnataka government had announced that the UVCE would be developed on the lines of an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT).  | Photo Credit: SUDHAKARA JAIN

Citing a fund crunch, Bangalore University has expressed its inability to pay the salaries of the staff of the University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering (UVCE) for the month of March 2023.

The decision of the BU has put the staff working in the UVCE, which was elevated to an autonomous institution by the State government, in trouble. The State government had announced that the UVCE would be developed on the lines of an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT). Foreseeing trouble, the staff of the college and its alumni have been demanding the State government provide adequate funds to pay the salaries, administrative and other expenses. 

In a letter addressed to the Additional Chief Secretary of the Higher Education Department, the Registrar of the BU said that the State government after declaring UVCE as autonomous, removed it from the administrative control of the BU with effect from March 31, 2023. The BU claims that the State government did not provide any financial allocation to pay the salaries of the staff of UVCE in the financial year 2023-24. It further states that it has come to the knowledge of the BU for the next financial year, that the State government has provided a separate allocation to UVCE for paying salaries. Hence, the BU is not in a position to pay the salaries.

UVCE staff to protest

In the backdrop of BU’s decision, the teaching and non-teaching staff of the UVCE decided to protest against the government. The college has a staff strength of 78 regular teaching faculties, 35 non-teaching faculties, 114 guest faculties and more than 50 outsourced employees. The capital and operational expenditure of the UVCE is around ₹47.69 crore per annum. However, the government has announced only ₹22.4 crore for the next financial year, which is not sufficient and leaves a deficit of ₹25.29 crore, they say. However, the Board of Governors (BoG) of UVCE has asked for a budget of around ₹50 crore, but the government is yet to respond. 

Speaking to The Hindu, H.C. Chittappa, the president of UVCE Teachers’ Association, said, “The BoG and our association have requested many times to the government to provide an adequate budget for the institution. But, there is no concrete response from the government. At the same time, the status-quo understanding with Bangalore University comes to an end on March 31. The Bangalore University has already taken a stand not to pay the salary of the staff for the month of March. Considering that the developments go against the interest of staff, we have no option but to protest.”

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