PANJAB UNIVERSITY TEACHERS’ ASSOCIATION (PUTA)
Aruna Ranjit Chandra Hall, 2nd Floor, Panjab University, Chandigarh
PUTA Executive had a meeting with the Officers of the Panjab University, which was chaired by Hon ‘ble Vice Chancellor, on Monday, 8th October 2018. Earlier on 15.09.2018 PUTA Executive had its meeting in which the major issues which needed immediate attention, were identified. Subsequently, a request was sent to the Vice Chancellor to hold a meeting in the presence of University officers.
President PUTA thanked the Vice Chancellor for holding this meeting in which Registrar, FDO, representative of XEN, DSW, CMO, CUS, DR Accounts, DR Establishment, etc. were present. A number of issues were put across by President PUTA and her team, to which the Vice Chancellor responded instantly, instructing University officers to note down and take immediate action. The following issues were taken up.
PUTA has constituted various committees to work upon specific issues and a list of these committees, their chairpersons, co-chairs and conveners, was handed over to the Vice Chancellor.
In his first meeting with PUTA, Vice Chancellor had assured of working towards gaining the status of Heritage University/Institute of National Importance for the Panjab University. Therefore, PUTA has formed a committee which will prepare a proposal for the status of Heritage University/Institute of National Importance for Panjab University, which will be handed over to the Vice Chancellor. PUTA President requested the VC to make personal efforts towards this objective, to which he responded positively and assured full support.
The issue of Promotion Policy for faculty at Dental Institute was raised and Vice Chancellor assured that he was personally looking into it. PUTA President requested to expedite the matter in view of the stagnation suffered by the faculty at the Institute.
Vice Chancellor was also requested to use his good offices to get the 7th Pay Commission recommendations implemented at the earliest, to which, again he assured of an active support. A Committee has been approved by the Vice Chancellor on the issue, which would work under the guidance of VC.
The other two very pertinent issues, i.e. Ph.D. Increments and CAS promotions stuck due to audit objections, for which PUTA representatives along with FDO visited the UGC on 18 Sept. 2018, were also taken up. Vice Chancellor directed the FDO to follow up these cases at UGC immediately. FDO gave his feedback that he was in touch with the concerned officials at UGC and a reply was awaited.
The FDO was also requested to follow up the cases of grant of full pension to teachers with 25 years of regular service, apart from grant of pension to teachers born on pension before 2004, with concerned officials at MHRD. PUTA also asked for an early meeting of the Committee constituted in the Syndicate dated 28.03.2018 for examining the issue of extension of Old Pension Scheme for employees recruited before 8.7.2012. VC instructed the Registrar and FDO to convene the meeting of the said committee without any further delay. FDO was also directed to follow up the case of leave encashment for 300 days’ earned leave at the MHRD.
On the request of PUTA Executive, FDO assured that although D.A. is being released, efforts would be made to release the arrears of D.A. before Diwali.
President PUTA requested the authorities to expedite the project of construction of 100 flats for teachers, for which the Vice Chancellor issued directions immediately. The problems faced by teachers carrying out research projects, in getting the bills cleared, processing of purchase of equipment etc., were also raised, to which FDO assured that he had already streamlined the process. He assured of immediate help in future in case any such problem arose.
The XEN office was asked to attend to the problems faced by teachers pertaining to housing, repair and maintenance, wiring, etc. for which the funds have already been sanctioned but with little progress. The quality of work was also a big issue. Vice Chancellor directed the XEN office to look for alternatives, e.g. outsourcing of work, or exploring the use of Workshop at UIET, for the purpose. The parking for T-II flats, for which funds have already been sanctioned two years back, is still pending. Vice Chancellor said that he was personally looking into this case.
A representation received from female staff, faculty and students of Dept. of Chemistry was put across, wherein a demand has been made for constructing ladies’ washrooms. XEN office was instructed to immediately attend to it since the funds have already been sanctioned for the same. It was decided that as a principle, separate washrooms for men, women and persons with disabilities should be made available preferably at every floor, especially in the large departments.
PUTA made a strong demand for Online Complaint Redressal Mechanism at the Construction office, in view of the harassment faced by teachers and the delay in attending to complaints. It was assured that necessary action would be taken.
President PUTA requested the XEN office to expedite the installation of Lifts at Teachers’ Flats as well as at the Arts Blocks, which have already been sanctioned in the budget, on the request of PUTA. This was most urgent in view of the inconvenience faced by persons with disabilities.
Registrar was requested to do overall monitoring of different branches under him, particularly Establishment, Accounts and Estate. PUTA showed its deep concern with the delayed counseling of housing for teachers, in violation of University Calendar. It was assured that in future, counseling would be held as per rules. It was also requested that all e-rickshaws should be immediately got registered to avoid any untoward mishap. The reconstruction of Service Books of teachers has also not been completed till date. Instructions were given by the VC to immediately complete the task. It was also requested that all Guest Houses, particularly the Golden Jubilee G. H. needs better upkeep and maintenance, for which directions were issued.
Our teachers have been facing acute harassment in the cases of CAS promotions. Therefore, it was decided that the PUTA Committee on the issue would interact with DR Establishment to formulate uniform parameters for conducting Prescreening and processing of CAS applications within certain deadlines, at every stage, so that the applicant teachers do not have to run pillar to post for getting their files cleared.
Chief Medical Officer was requested to streamline medical reimbursement with the help of FDO, to which the CMO gave a very positive feedback. He described an existing proposal for empaneling of hospitals for the purpose and promised to report back after working on it. President PUTA also requested the CMO to ensure that doctors behave with the teachers in cordial manner. Further, it was resolved that meetings may be held after or before the OPD timings so that patients are not kept waiting. CMO and FDO were requested to resolve the issue of availability of a driver 24×7 for the ambulance, to meet any emergency.
The meeting was concluded with vote of thanks by President PUTA to the Vice Chancellor for arranging this interactive meeting and to all the officers of the University for making themselves available and for their positive response.
Rajesh Gill J.K.Goswamy