Ranchi, Dec. 24: For some sections of the academic community, this New Year brings with it a damper: less holidays.
The universities in the state ó Ranchi University (RU), Vinoba Bhave University (VBU) and Sidho-Kanho-Murmu University (SKMU) ó have decided to slash holidays to adhere to UGC guidelines of a minimum 180 class days annually. While RU has curtailed five holidays in 2008 and is making changes in the earned leave entitlements of teachers, VBU is doing away with 35 per cent of its usual holidays in 2008. SKMU will also cut holidays but is waiting for the final list of holidays from RU before taking a final call.
VBU hasnt tampered with national or religious holidays but has reduced the duration of summer and winter vacations. Earlier, we used to see a summer vacation of at least 45 days. This has been cut to almost half. Winter vacation has also been curtailed, said M.P. Singh, the vice-chancellor of VBU, which has as affiliates colleges in Hazaribagh, Koderma, Giridih, Bokaro, Dhanbad and Ramgarh.
RU has done away with five holidays. We have taken the step to ensure a minimum of 180 class days and to increase EL for teachers to 12 against the existing three, said RU vice-chancellor A.A. Khan. RUs holiday list for 2008 recommends 75 holidays in non-vacational (university headquarters and respective college administrative offices) departments and 104 holidays in vacational (PG departments and colleges) departments.
RU will have 30 days leave during summer vacations only in vacational departments ó no summer holidays in non-vacational departments. Once the state government passes a Bill, expected by the first quarter of 2008, teachers in all three universities would be entitled to 12 days EL a year. We have to prepare a statute which would be sent to the government for approval followed by a nod from the chancellors office, added Khan.
SKMU will also reduce the holidays. We are planning to cut down 26 days from the summer holidays and puja vacations. We will take a decision after going through the RU and VBU lists, said vice-chancellor Victor Tigga.
With new payscales implemented for teachers in all varsities, the government now has to ensure they get leave encashment benefits of 300 days in their service period. Earlier, leave encashment was for 180 days at most. Moreover, teachers are entitled to CL of 16 days. There would be 52/53 Sundays in a year.
Newly-elected president of RU students union Shyam Babu welcomed the move.