A recent report by a committee formed by the state government under the Directorate of Higher Education, Pune has raised several concerns over appointment of teaching and non-teaching staff and their salary fixation by the University of Mumbai.
The government had formed a committee in February 2016 to look into the current status of appointments on the government sanctioned posts at the university and to understand the status of the approvals required for their salary and pensions.
In response, the university said that the report is incomplete and misleading. “The committee has only looked at some selected cases when we have more than 1,000 such sanctioned posts. They should have checked each and every case before making claims about the university not following the norms,” said MA Khan, Registrar, University of Mumbai.
At present, there are 1,056 non-teaching and 187 teaching government sanctioned posts at the varsity. In July, the university had requested the government to release arrears of around Rs 150 crore that it had paid its employees when the government didn’t disburse salaries.
The six-page report makes observations on the basis of some cases chosen by the a committee formed by the government and has given several critical remarks about the way in which appointments in the university are made and the salary fixation of these employees. “For the post of deputy registrars, the appointments need to be made in compliance with the educational qualifications and other selection criteria mentioned in the advertisement for the said post. However, it was found that a lot of employees do not have the prescribed amount of administrative experience required for a certain post. The university has appointed the person on the basis of an equivalent educational qualification which is not permitted as per the norms laid by the government” states the report.
The report also states that the university has been calculating the seniority of both government sanctioned posts and university sanctioned posts in the same list which needs to be done separately. “The same list cannot be retained”, it states, adding that, “Some candidates who are appointed under reserved posts were not found with adequate caste validity documents. For most non teaching staff, the university has not taken the prior sanction of the office of the joint director while sanctioning their salaries as per the revised 4th, 5th and 6th pay commissions”.
The university registrar, however, added that the onus of irregularities or deficiencies, if any, is equally with the government. “If they have found any irregularities, they should have given a case by case report to us after which we would have taken appropriate steps to either respond to the queries raised or take necessary steps as per the government instructions. The university is committed to take all steps necessary to ensure that appointments and salaries are as per the government norms. But if the government has observed norms not being followed in certain cases, it should be brought to our notice when the employee is appointed and not at the time of his/her retirement, wherein the staff has to wait till all queries are solved,” Khan said.