Self-financing college staff and teachers in Kerala seek to amend varsity rules

‘New law will regulate appointments and conditions of service’

A Left-leaning organisation representing the staff and teachers of self-financing colleges has petitioned all the universities in the State to implement the Kerala Self-Financing College Teaching and Non-Teaching Employees (Appointment and Conditions of Service) Bill 2021, which got the Governor’s assent recently.

K.P. Abdul Azeez, joint secretary, Self-Financing College Teachers and Staff Association, said on Thursday that the statutes of universities should be immediately amended. He said the rules related to universities were promulgated much before most of the self-financing colleges were introduced in the State. Because of this, the staff and teachers in these colleges have had no representation in the Syndicate, Senate, Board of Studies, and academic council of the universities. The appointment of teachers and staff in those colleges was left to the whims and fancies of the managements, alleged Mr. Azeez.

Association members pointed out that the law would regulate the appointments and conditions of service, including salary, of the teaching and non-teaching staff. It would help standardise their posts, pay scales, increment, grade promotion, over-time allowance, provident fund, and insurance. They would now be governed by the norms of the All India Council for Technical Education, University Grants Commission, and National Council for Teacher Education. Working days and working hours have been made similar to that of aided and government colleges. Internal quality assurance cell, parent-teacher association, college council, and students’ grievance redressal cell should be set up in colleges.

The legislation was brought in based on the recommendations of the Kerala State Higher Education Council.

Mr. Azeez said some of the private college managements were reportedly planning to approach the Supreme Court against the Act. It was unfortunate that they were opposing a move that would ensure the quality of higher education in the State, he added.

Functionaries of the association recently met Calicut University Vice Chancellor M.K. Jayaraj to put forward the demand. Around 50,000 staff in self-financing colleges affiliated to the University of Calicut would get benefited, they said. They are meeting at Thrissur on Friday to discuss the future course of action.

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