Affiliated colleges at Mumbai University and the workload had been increasing with administrative and non-teaching staff remaining stagnant for years. The university has 740 affiliated colleges and 1,319 permanent non-teaching staff, only 20 more than what it had in the 1990s. Permanent staff had not increased since 2008.
Vice-Chancellor Dr Sanjay Deshmukh on Tuesday said the university will review non-teaching staff.
There were 200 colleges, 20 departments and two lakh students in MU in the early 1980s. The strength of the administrative staff was only 1299. Today there are over 740 affiliated colleges, 56 departments and over seven lakh students. The university is facing a dearth of staff. This has led to the university hiring temporary employees and some working in the most sensitive departments of MU, which according to experts, is a huge risk.
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The 1,319 permanent staff includes employees from class I rank (deputy registrar) to class IV rank (clerk and stenos). For years, the university has been lobbying with the state government to fill over 100-150 permanent posts from junior clerks to senior officers. According to a senior MU official, this number is enough to supervise the examination department.
According to officials, there are not enough permanent non-teaching staff. This makes them dependent on temporary or contractual workers. “Only 40 per cent of the staff in non-teaching section is permanent. The remaining posts are temporary or vacant. Most staff are not dedicated to work as they are paid very less and know their contract will end in six months. We will now review total staff required in the section and try to get the issue resolved at the earliest,” said Deshmukh, V-C of MU.
At the examination department of MU’s Vidyanagri campus at Kalina, nearly 400 temporary staff come and go every day. According to a state government report of 2013-14, there were 287 permanent staff sanctioned, only 124 were filled.
Senate members and faculty of Mumbai University say the goof-ups in MU will continue until sufficient permanent staff is recruited. “The repeated goof ups, over the past few years, has put MU’s honour at stake. It is high time the new vice-chancellor took up the issue with the state and got new posts sanctioned before the system collapses,” said Sanjay Vairal, a senate member.