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Pension pang in hub of social studies

The retired teaching and non-teaching staff of AN Sinha Institute of Social Studies have approached the state human rights commission as they have not received pension in the past three months.

Over 150 retired employees — teachers in the rank of professor or reader and non-teaching employees — have not received pension in April, May and June.

Then President Rajendra Prasad had laid the foundation stone of the institute set up by Bihar government in memory of Anugrah Narayan Sinha in January 1958.

The idea was to carry out research work on socio-economic issues. Located near Gandhi Maidan, the inter-disciplinary research institute was enacted and financed by the state government and recognised and supported by the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR).

Sachindra Narayan, who retired as professor there in 2006, said: “The pension has been stopped in the last few months because of the management’s wrong policies.” In the absence of any other source of income, the retired employees are in dire straits now. The retired professor said the condition of non-teaching retired employees is worse as they are unable to even pay rent.

Being an autonomous unit, the institute gets funds from both the state government as well as ICSSR. It also earns from internal resources, by assisting the state government’s research projects and by letting out its halls on rent for functions.

Sources said the state government recently released a grant of Rs 1.3 crore to the institute for financial year 2014-15. ICSSR, which too provides financial assistance to the institute, is also going to release a similar amount quarterly, sources said.

Institute director D.M. Diwakar, however, said: “The institute decided to stop giving pension to its retired employees on the basis of a letter received from the state government a few months back. The letter mentions about not including pension in the statutory grant provided by the state government.”

The institute director also said that institutions that receives ICSSR grant do not provide pension to its retired employees and under the conditions there is no logic that retired employees here should get pension.

However, all may not be lost yet for the disgruntled former employees. Diwakar said: “A few days back the governing board of the institute met and it was decided that the institute would again request the state government to provide pension to its retired employees.”