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Wednesday, December 30, 1998
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University departments face closure
250 ad hoc staff face termination
From Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

PATIALA, Dec 29 — As many as 250 ad hoc Punjabi University employees, including 39 teachers, face an uncertain future with the university authorities unable to review their cases after having given them notices that their term will end on December 31.

The university Syndicate in its meeting two months ago, decided to extend the term of all ad hoc employees till December 31, during which period their cases were to be decided by a sub-committee formed by it. Though the sub-committee has met twice no decision on the fate of ad hoc employees has been taken yet.

The sub-committee was formed by the Syndicate to decide the issues of extension for ad hoc employees, assessment of work load of teachers and re-employment of retired university teachers.

Ad hoc employees had met university Vice-Chancellor, Dr Joginder Singh Puar in a delegation yesterday and urged that they be regularised. The Vice-Chancellor had assured them that their cases would be considered sympathetically. Dr Puar told TNS yesterday that though he had met the state Chief-Secretary yesterday. No decision could be taken.

Dr Puar said in the case of correspondence courses run by the university in the disciplines of B.Ed. and M.Ed. The entire courses were self-financed and ad hoc teachers had been recruited to teach the students. He said the university would be compelled to close these courses if the ad hoc employees were dismissed from service.

He also cited the Departments of Computer Sciences and Fine Arts in the university campus which were severely short of staff. He said similarly in the Damdama Sahib Regional Centre most work was being managed by ad hoc employees.

The Vice-Chancellor, when asked whether the university would bring out any new circular to extend the service of ad hoc employees, said there was no such move right now. However, he hoped the government would decide on the issue till December 31.

University sources said the issue of the ad hoc employees had been further confused with the government announcing a ban on fresh recruitment in government departments. However, the next day the government had denied any ban had been imposed. The syndicate sub-committee, which met the day after news of the ban was announced, had decided to keep on hold the matter of deciding the fate of ad hoc employees.

However, with the deadline for the termination of their services approaching, the ad hoc employees are on tenterhooks. Some of them disclosed that they had been working in the university for more than four years and would not be able to find any other source of livelihood if dismissed from service.

They said they had already met Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal in this regard. He had asked the state Chief Secretary to consider their case sympathetically but nothing had come out of it. However, a delegation of ad hoc employee leaders has gone today to Chandigarh to meet the Chief Minister again and urge him to regularise them immediately.back

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