Guwahati: The Gauhati University (GU) in Assam on Tuesday provisionally withdrew its earlier order cancelling the services of all contractual faculty members of the varsity.
The appointments were cancelled with effect from June 30 vide a notification issued by the Registrar of the University on July 2, on basis of a communication received by the GU from the office of the state’s Governor, in his capacity as the Chancellor of the varsity, that same day.
More than 70 contractual faculty members had been affected by the termination order.
The Vice-Chancellor (VC), PJ Handique, in the latest notification on Tuesday has ordered for provisional withdrawal of the previous order of July 2.
“In exercising the power vested upon the Vice Chancellor, Gauhati University under Section 8-B. (4) of the Gauhati University Act, 1947 (as amended up to date), the Hon’ble Vice-Chancellor, Gauhati University orders provisional withdrawal of the notification No. GU/Regr(SF)Y2021/93 dated 02.07.2021 pending reporting to the Academic Council and the Executive Council, Gauhati University in its meetings to be held on 10.07.2021 and 12.07.2021 respectively,” the latest notification said.
“The decision is taken in view of the current deadlock because of the discontinuation of the services of the contractual faculty members and representation of the stakeholder organisations and other associations/organizations,” it added, signed by the Registrar of the GU, with the approval of the VC.
The sudden decision to cancel the contractual appointments had led to vehement objections from the teachers’ as well as the students’ community of the GU, a source at the University said.
The Gauhati University Teachers’ Association (GUTA) had held a meeting with the VC the same day the first notification was issued, and had placed in writing their opposition to the decision, the source added.
The two main students’ organisations of the GU Post- Graduate Students Union and the University Law College Students Union, had also objected to the decision, while other students’ bodies, including the All Assam Students Union and the Satra Mukti Sangram Samiti, had also voiced their opposition.
Resolutions were also taken by the affected departments against the decision, the source added.
As per the notification issued on July 2, “all contractual appointment of teaching faculty has been stopped w.e.f. 30.06.2021, with the order also applicable to those whose contract period is valid beyond 30.06.2021, if any”.
It added that the decision was taken pursuant upon a directive from the Governor, in his capacity as the Chancellor, through a letter dated April 13, 2021, which was followed by a meeting of the VC with the Governor on June 9 and a communication received from the Governor’s office on July 2.
There are around 400 faculties on permanent rolls currently and 130 posts are lying vacant in the state’s oldest varsity, which was established in 1948.
With the sudden termination of over 70 faculty members, the academic activities of the university would have been adversely impacted, besides leaving the teachers who would lose their job in a lurch, the GU source said.
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