Appointment of around 25 staff members of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai came to a halt as of March 31. This was according to the termination letters issued by the institute on March 24. The staff and faculty members belonged to 3 TISS centers –the Advance Centre for Women’s Studies, Centre for Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policies and the Centre of Excellence for Human Rights Education. This step was attributed to the University Grants Commission (UGC) as it had not extended the funding for these centres beyond the 31st of March. The faculty members have been officially released on the 31st.
TISS Director writes to students’ union
The UGC is said to have given an annual extention to the institute later. Despite this, the terminated appointments have not been recalled. The TISS Director, S Parasuraman has conveyed that the institute will review the performance of the dismissed staff before any further action.
TISS students have been informed that the staff issued with notification would be reinstated only after this assessment. In an email reply to the concern raised by the students’ union, Mr. Parasuram has mentioned that the review of the concerned staff and faculty will begin soon. The reply also is said to have assured that the decision making process would carried out considering the students’ best interests.
Hope for the TISS staff
The students’ union communication is also said to have highlighted the fact that TISS had appointed all sanctioned positions despite lack of sufficent UGC funding. Most other universities supposedly cut down on the appointments to only one or two as against the sanctioned numbers due to lack of funds. This made TISS probably the only university in the nation to honor all sanctions at these centres despite the lack of funding under the 12th five-year plan.
In the meantime, the TISS Registrar is said to have communicated to the UGC requesting the release of pending grant amount along with the extension of funding for the 3 centres in question. The claim amount is said to be over 500 lakhs. In addition, the Director has conveyed that performance review would be a key aspect that will decide the fate of the concerned staff.