CUK's Contractual Staff 'Terminated' Without Any Reason

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Srinagar: The contractual staffers of the Central University of Kashmir (CuK) Friday alleged that the varsity has terminated their services without any specific reason and that their salaries have not been released for the past four months.

The staffers who were recruited under Design Innovation Centre (DIC) project told Kashmir Observer that despite repeated reminders the Varsity failed to pay the salaries, and terminated their services in the testing times making their life miserable.

DIC is one of the prestigious projects of the Central University of Kashmir. It was established in the year 2018 under the National Initiative of Design Innovation of MHRD, GoI.

The dismissed staff members said that a few months ago, the university called the third steering committee meeting to decide the salary issues of staff members for the year 2020.

“It was decided that the salary for the pending months will be cleared. However, the university released the salary in the phase for the months of April to June and then from the month of November 2020 to March 2021,” a staffer told Kashmir Observer.

He added that “in between the salary of four months i.e. July 2020 to October 2020 was not released and the University authorities did not specify any reason.”

He alleged that the attendance of spoke centres was totally manipulated and was not counter signed by the spoke centres’ Principals but still their full salary was released.

The laying off of the contractual staffers is in violation of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) guidelines, official sources told Kashmir Observer.

It may be noted, AICTE—a statutory body set up by the Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Education, Government of India, issued instruction  to colleges/higher institutions  amid the ongoing pandemic not to terminate any faculty without enough disciplinary ground & due process of redressal.

“Salary and other dues to the faculty/staff members shall be released monthly on time and also terminations (if any) made during the lockdown shall be withdrawn. This is to be complied strictly,” the AICTE directed.

However, the CuK has allegedly laid-off various staff members without giving any notice to them. They say their contract was not renewed from the month of April 2021.

“We were continuously attending the university but after the second wave of covid-19 lockdown, we were not able to attend and in July various staff members were told not to come,” said another staffer whose contract wasn’t renewed.

Prof. Fayaz Ahmad Nika, Project Director, DIC however refused the allegations and said they have only laid-off those staff members who were not attending the university.

“Some 5-6 people didn’t attend the university amid COVID-19 for over five months, so we decided to lay them off,” Prof. Nika told Kashmir Observer. 

Nika said the DIC project was till June this year but was extended till September.

However, one of the terminated staffers said that he has attended the University regularly and has also marked his attendance till Kashmir went into second covid lockdown.

Regarding their salaries, Prof. Nika said, they have disbursed their 50% salaries and kept the 50% withheld due to some issues.

“We will also release the rest when the funds come,” he added.

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