Salary payment at universities delayed due to stifled cash flow from government to UGC
A teacher at Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri National Sanskrit University will have to borrow to pay his EMI on time on Wednesday as he is yet to receive his salary nine days into February. Similar is the plight of teachers and other staff of the Mumbai-based Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS). Salary payment at several University Grants Commission-funded deemed universities and central universities has been delayed over the past few months because of stifled cash flow from the government to the UGC.
The faculty member of Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri National Sanskrit University said he was worried about the meagre amount in his bank account and the EMI due date looming on Wednesday. “The January salary is yet to be paid although it is February 9,” the teacher said, adding that salary had been delayed every month since last August. The Sanskrit varsity was made a central university last year. The teacher said: “Every month, the salary is credited to our account almost a week after the usual date. We have spoken to the administration. They say funds are awaited from the UGC.”
Another faculty member said the situation was better when the institution was a deemed university. “Salary always used to be paid on time,” he recalled. Last year a bill was passed in Parliament to upgrade the UGC-funded deemed university to a central university to help it attract international students. A UGC official said funds release from the commission to some deemed universities and central universities had been erratic for the past few months. “Funds are being released to institutions as per availability,” the official said. Teachers and staff at TISS said they were supposed to get their salary on January 29, the last working day of the month, but were still waiting for it.
“For past three months our salary has been delayed. It is difficult to make do without salary for so many days. Many people pay EMIs on home loans and other loans on the 5th or 10th of every month. Imagine how difficult it is for them to pay EMI,” said Prof. Bal Rakshase, the president of the TISS Teachers’ Association.
He said the teachers had taken up the issue with the university, which has blamed the UGC. The UGC has also delayed the payment to scholars pursuing research under the Junior Research Fellowship and Senior Research Fellowship schemes. An email this newspaper sent to the education ministry asking about the delay in salary payment elicited no response.
An earlier version of this report had erroneously mentioned that the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) had to take a bank loan to pay the salaries for December 2020. The shortfall was met out of internal resources of the institute, TISS had said. The Telegraph withdraws the claim about the bank loan and apologises for the mistake.