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Varsity protest on fast track

Three retired mentors and two professors of Ranchi University on Tuesday staged a six-hour token hunger strike to protest against the government’s prolonged delay in releasing pension and salary of varsity employees.

Teaching and non-teaching members of staff of Jharkhand’s five universities have been deprived of their dues for the past three months (since March) because disbursement of their anudaan or grant-in-aid requires the time-consuming approval of the accountant-general.

After The Telegraph highlighted the plight of professors and other varsity employees in the report, Mentor to miser, the pay poser, published on June 10, HRD bosses are said to have budged from their lazy couch to redress grievances.

“Thanks to your newspaper for making us heard. We have been told that the process of salary clearance has been expedited. Our protest today is to demand a permanent solution to this annual predicament,” said Mithilesh, a professor of Hindi at Ranchi University (RU).

Sanjeev Lochan, who teaches history at the varsity, added: “We have come to know that our salaries will be released in the next 15-20 days. But for many, this wait is difficult too. The government must do something to end the problem once and for all.”

Former mathematics professor Baban Choubey echoed Mithilesh and Lochan. “There are over a dozen retired colleagues who are unwell and are unable to continue their treatment because they have no money to buy medicines. If our government is unable to find a way out of this annual crisis, it must send a team to other states and see how they handle the situation,” he said.

The protest, which started on varsity premises in the state capital at 10am, ended at 4pm.

The hunger strike team, which also comprised erstwhile RU geology mentor M.P. Sharma and commerce teacher Edward Ekka, have decided to hold a meeting with all university professors, past and present, to draw up their future course of action if the government lets them down again.

11Randharna: Past and present professors of Ranchi University during the six-hour token hunger strike on campus on Tuesday. Picture by Prashant Mitra


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