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Sugata fears Presi quit queue over pay

Presidency University’s chief mentor Sugata Bose fears the institution will lose more teachers unless they are paid on a par with what’s on offer elsewhere.

Four teachers have quit Presidency over the past two months after being offered better pay by central institutes.

“The dearness allowance given by the central government is so high that it is causing a pay disparity between teachers in state universities and central institutions. We have been saying all along that the total remuneration should be brought on a par with those of central universities. It will be good for retaining faculty at Presidency University,” Bose said on the sidelines of a campus programme on Sunday.

Bose was visiting Presidency to attend the unveiling of a marble bust of Swami Vivekananda by Swami Prabhanandaji Maharaj, the vice-president of the Ramakrishna Mission. The Harvard professor had stated in his second report to the government that it would be difficult to recruit and retain the very best faculty members without pay parity with central institutions.

Prakash Maity, an associate professor of Bengali who had joined Presidency from Banaras Hindu University, is said to have resigned because his salary was Rs 25,000 less than what he was getting there. He had come to Presidency in the hope that the “special pay” recommended by the mentor group would be implemented soon, sources said.

A teacher in the statistics department quit after getting an offer from IIT-Kanpur. Samit Kar, a teacher of sociology, decided to leave for not being given a promotion under the career advancement scheme, an official said.

Chief mentor Bose said: “It is difficult to alter the salary structure. That is why we have been saying that the total remuneration should be taken to a zone where the disparity between the two (state and central) is less.”

In any central university, dearness allowance is more than 80 per cent and house rent allowance is 20 per cent of the basic pay. State universities pay dearness allowance at the rate of 52 per cent and house rent allowance at 6 per cent of the basic, sources sad.

A host of other allowances take a professor’s pay to beyond Rs 1 lakh a month in a central university.

Governor M.K. Narayanan had asked vice-chancellor Malabika Sarkar on June 17 why “so many” teachers were leaving the institution.

Bose said the mentor group would discuss the disparity in pay with chief minister Mamata Banerjee after a meeting on July 15-16. Amartya Sen, adviser to the mentor group, is expected to be in the city around that time. Bose said the Nobel laureate would be consulted.