FED up of the fact that 138 members of the non-teaching staff were performing various census or election duties for the last six months, University of Pune (UoP) officials recently approached Collector Anil Pawar and Municipal Commissioner Mahesh Pathak with a request to relieve these employees of their duties as soon possible for smooth functioning of the understaffed varsity. But they are yet to receive a reply.
As per UoP records, 113 varsity employees were allotted census-related duties. While the remaining 25 were deployed by the district administration for various election-related works. But the PMC and the district administration are claiming that most of the UoP employees are with other departments and the varsity officials need to approach them.
University representatives wrote to the civic chief on April 18, requesting Pathak to relieve all 113 employees so that the UoP administration can function smoothly. But Pathak is yet to reply to their request, said officials. Speaking to MiD DAY, UoP Registrar Dr Narendra Kadu said, “Since most of the clerical staff has been off campus for the last six months,this has directly affected our day-to-day work. In the coming week, I’ll be meeting the municipal commissioner personally with a request to relieve all our employees of their respective duties.”
In a government resolution (GR) issued on May 3, the state exempted schoolteachers from all kinds of non-teaching works and duties. Kadu wants similar directives be issued in the favour of varsity employees. “Even though the recent GR is only applicable to schoolteachers, I personally feel that local administration should also consider including UoP employees,” Kadu said.
On being contacted, Pathak said most of the UoP employees were working with the district administration and not the civic body. When this correspondent briefed Pathak with details of the 113 UoP employees working with various PMC ward offices, he said, “A majority of the varsity employees have been assigned to Aundh ward office, as the work of census re-registration is on in some parts of the city. We will let all the UoP employees go as soon as this task is completed.”
Commenting on the issue, Collector Anil Pawar said the UoP officials had approached him a few days ago and he informed them that most of the varsity employees were working with the PMC and not the district administration. “The UoP needs to follow-up with the PMC on the issue,” he said.
With about 350 non-teaching posts lying vacant, the UoP at present is pressed for manpower. The varsity recently published an advertisement to fill up 63 officer-level posts and 250 clerical posts that had been lying vacant since 2010 due to government restrictions on new recruitment.
“We have set a target to fill up all vacant posts in the next couple of months. But if the government authorities start appointing our employees for such outside tasks, how can the additional manpower help varsity speed up its administration work?” lamented Kadu.
As per varsity records: 54 employees are working with Aundh, 19 with Yerawada, 18 with Kothrud, nine with Ghole Road, five with Hadapsar, four with Dhankawdi and one with Nagar Road ward office on census-related works. The remaining 25 employees were deployed in Parvati constituency to do election work.
A majority of the varsity employees have been assigned to Aundh ward office, as the work of census re-registration is on in some parts of the city. We will let all the UoP employees go as soon as this task is completed.” – Mahesh Pathak, municipal commissioner
On a paid vacation?
Even though the 138 employees have been allotted various census or election-related works, most of them haven’t reported to their superiors in the varsity and are enjoying a paid vacation, claimed sources.
“The PMC and the district administration don’t have mechanism to crosscheck whether all the employees appointed are working or not. That’s why several employees are enjoying paid leaves in the name of census duty,” a senior varsity official said.
“What you have heard about ongoing census and election duty is a reality. Hardly anyone takes these assignments seriously. I don’t know a single employee who is earnest about this. Fortunately or unfortunately, PMC officials also don’t take day-to-day feedback. Many employees are deliberately asking and taking extensions in census duty, as currently there is absolutely no work,” informed the chairman of one of the employee unions of UoP, on condition of anonymity.
800 No of non-teaching staff members currently working at UoP
350 No of vacancies in the non-teaching staff at the varsity