Staff members of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), who were issued termination letters over a week ago, will be reviewed by the institute before their fate is decided, according to Director S Parasuraman. Around 25 teachers associated with three centres — the Centre of Excellence for Human Rights Education, Advance Centre for Women’s Studies and Centre for Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policies — were issued letters on March 24, informing them their appointments would cease on March 31. The reason cited was that the centres, funded by the University Grants Commission (UGC) till March 31 under the 12th Five-Year Plan, had not received extension for funding.
Despite an annual extension from the UGC later, the institute is yet to reinstate the teachers. Three days after the UGC granted the extension, Parasuraman told students the teachers will be reinstated based only on their review performance. In an emailed response to the students’ union of the institute, Parasuraman said the institute will soon start a review of the performance of the faculty and staff engaged with the three centres. “While we make these decisions, the interests of the students will be kept in mind,” read the letter.
It points out that TISS may have been the only university in the country to have appointed all sanctioned positions to the three centres despite the UGC not releasing funds when “most other universities have appointed one or two faculty members”. Meanwhile, the registrar of TISS has written to the UGC, requesting it to release the pending grants as well as extension of the three centres. In the letter, the institute has claimed a due amount of Rs 526 lakh.