The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Retirements on campus spark staff shortage

Calcutta University (CU) appears to be heading for an acute scarcity of non-teaching employees following the retirement of a large number of employees every year and the cash-strapped government’s inability to fill the vacancies.

Going by the examples set by its predecessors who introduced the system in the late Sixties, the ruling Left Front had encouraged university authorities to recruit non-teaching employees only when it felt the need to provide jobs to party sympathisers.

But, it is learnt, the government is being forced to discourage such bulk recruitment as it feels it will be unable to allot funds for salaries after paying post-retirement benefits to a large number of employees in a single financial year. The university is finding it difficult to ensure smooth functioning of its departments with the depleted staff strength.

Concerned at the drastic decrease in the non-teaching staff strength, the university, for the first time, has set up a new human management committee to find out ways and means of ensuring that university administration is not hampered in spite of limited staff.

“The problem is the fallout of the university’s faulty recruitment policies that it has followed for the past two decades,” said a senior university officer. “Usually, candidates of the same age-group were appointed whenever there was bulk recruitment. Hence, so many of them are retiring every year at the same time,” said the officer.

According to records available, 135 employees have retired every year for the past few years and more than 500 are expected to retire within the next year.

“If this continues, the number of non-teaching employees will be reduced to 50 per cent of the total sanctioned posts and the departmental heads will find it difficult to conduct their day-to-day work,” said Siddheswar Ghosal, leader of the Citu-affiliated employees’ union of CU.

Of the total of nearly 2,800 non-teaching posts in CU, more than 500 have already fallen vacant. The strength is likely to reduce to nearly 1,500 by 2005-beginning, say university officers.

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