The Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) has reversed its decision to terminate contracts for 55 teaching and 60 non-teaching staff members, following assurances of continued funding from the Tata Education Trust (TET). The staff, appointed under TET-funded programs on contractual terms across TISS campuses in Mumbai, Tuljapur, Hyderabad, and Guwahati, faced the imminent end of their contracts on June 30.

In a circular dated June 28, 2024, numbered Admn/5(1) TET-Faculty & Staff/2024, TISS informed affected personnel that the notices of non-renewal, which sparked significant backlash from students and faculty alike, have been withdrawn with immediate effect. The institute stated that salaries would be disbursed upon receipt of the TET Support Grant.

In its latest circular, TISS stated that ongoing discussions with Tata Education Trust have provided assurance that resources will be made available to the institute to resolve this issue. “TET has committed to releasing funds for salaries of TET project/programme faculty and non-teaching staff,” it added.

“The letter numbered Admn/5(1) TET-Faculty & Staff/2024, dated 28th June 2024, addressed to all concerned TET Programme faculty and non-teaching staff, is hereby withdrawn with immediate effect. They are requested to continue their work, and salaries will be released as soon as the TET Support Grant is received by the institute,” the circular said, according to news agency PTI.

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Faculty, Students Forum Condemn TISS Administration For Lack Of Timely Renewal Of Grants

A faculty member, speaking on condition of anonymity, criticised the administration for the lack of timely renewal of grants, which are crucial for sustaining additional faculty hired over the past decade, PTI reported. 

 “It is over the last 10-15 years that we have been receiving grants for employing additional faculty to teach various courses. That funding was to be renewed. The no-cost extension and renewal of grant doesn’t seem to have happened in a timely manner,” the faculty member remarked.

“We were apprised on June 28 about the non-renewal of contracts. We told the TISS administration not to issue the letters (pertaining to non-renewal of contracts) till it hears from the Tata Trust. Let us try to find a solution. But our appeal did not find favour,” the faculty member added, as per PTI’s report.

Another faculty member expressed dismay over the abrupt notices, noting that such actions had not been taken previously without prior discussion or resolution. “Some of the teaching staff members were even part of the interview process which selects candidates for academic sessions for various courses last month,” the person said.

“It seems this has been done deliberately,” the faculty member alleged. “The administration’s failure to foresee this situation is evident,” the faculty member remarked, as quoted by the report.

Meanwhile, the Progressive Students Forum condemned the administration’s handling of the issue, attributing it to broader governmental incompetence, including recent missteps in national entrance examinations. “The recent blunders made by the Ministry of Education in conducting nationwide entrance examinations only add to the incompetence of the central government,” the forum charged.

 

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