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Employees’ strike chokes campus

Ranchi, July 23: Chances of a quick end to the university employees’ strike, which is already a fortnight old, appears remote.

The state government today reiterated its inability to notify any concession without the clearance from the finance department and approval by the cabinet. With HRD minister Bandhu Tirkey away in Delhi, there is little hope of a quick rapprochement.

There was anger among employees as they were ready to withdraw the strike if the state government were to immediately accept and notify at least two of their 20 demands.

They wanted a notification on merging 50 per cent of the DA with the basic pay and another notification on assured career progression.

Even as the government’s negotiating team declined to oblige them, employees decided to defer demonstrations planned before the Raj Bhavan and the chief minister’s residence, scheduled over the next two days. As a conciliatory gesture, they agreed to defer it to July 30 and 31.

“Almost all the demands have financial implications and there is little we can do without the approval from the cabinet and clearance by the finance department,” said HRD secretary J.B. Tubid.

There is, however, no explanation why the state government chose to sign an agreement over three months ago, in which it pledged to notify new scales and merger of DA with basic pay within weeks. Nor is there any explanation why it is taking the government so long to complete a study of the demands.

There is concern at the continuing strike, which has paralysed the campus throughout the state. “This is the time when a major part of the syllabi get covered and classes are held more regularly,” lamented a HoD.

Students planning to go out for higher studies are finding themselves stranded in the absence of provisional certificates, migration certificates and marksheets.

“Don’t blame us for the students suffering,” said a spokesman of the striking employees, “We have been waiting for the past seven years for these demands to be fulfilled.”

The demands are so old that the government should agree to take emergency measures, said Chandrabhushan Shrivastava, a federation spokesman.

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