Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
We had discussed in these pages on 24 July 2009 about how managements of techno educational institutes in Orissa treat the teachers like helots. Now we find they are under economic exploitation.
Let us look at the Krupajal Group of Institutions, Bhubaneswar for an instance.
It owns as many as seven institutes of techno education; such as KBS, KEC, AMS, OCA, KES AND KTTC. The last one has two branches, one each at Bhubaneswar and Angul. These together have a teacher and staff strength numbering around 600.
Their salary rise was due from 1st August 2008. It would have cost the management about 10 lakhs of more rupees per month. But under fictitious pretense the management did not allow the pay rise. It, however, promised to “settle payments (including arrears) entitled to each staff by the end of April, 2009”. It did not keep the promise. A year has elapsed. So, since last 20 months, the management has withheld the legitimate pay rise of teachers and staff, which means, it has fetched a gain worth Rs.2 crores.
It is alleged that the management makes irregular payment. As for example, it had not paid salary to the staff for last two months. In other words, it had blocked in the old scale around 80 lakhs of rupees, which invested otherwise, must have fished in huge financial gain for it. As the teachers insisted on payment, it has released two months salary in old scale while disallowing salary to four of the senior members of faculty. This is because, they were more vociferous in their demand for timely payment. They are (1) Dean of students’ affairs, (2) Prof.-in-charge of planning and placement, (3) HoD, Electrical and (4) HoD, computer science and engineering. It transmits a message that if they do not bend, they would be fired. It also is designed to keep others intimidated, a senior teacher says.
When thus the teachers and staff are exploited, students are not left behind. In fact, they are the first victims of the economy of exploitation. As for example, in the name of campus recruitment, a sum of Rs.10 thousand is being collected from each student every year. This means, during four years of the course in its Engineering College wing, Rs. 40 thousand is collected from each student. Its intake being 640 students the income of management on this head per batch comes to around Rs. 2.5 crores, when no expenditure is virtually made for campus recruitment. Frustrated by this mischief, students of KEC have resorted to strike for last 10 days. Neither BPUT nor the Government has taken any step so far to help the situation improve.