25 faculty members of Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in Mumbai were handed termination letters which stated that their tenure would end on 31 March, according to a report in The Wire.
The terminations were issued on the grounds that the University Grants Commission (UGC) had not extended the terms of the Centres for which these faculty members worked. However, the report also mentions that this is not unusual and, in the past, the UGC has issued extensions after the final date. While The Wire reports that 25 teachers have been issued letters, there has been no official notification given to students on the number of teachers whose contract has been terminated.
In the Director of TISS’ statement accessed by The Quint, it has been specified that the faculty was dismissed because the UGC hasn’t extended the period of these Centres.
One of the professors who was terminated, spoke to The Wire and mentioned that many who received letters, had been attempting to establish a teachers’ association for the past six months. The professor added that this had angered the TISS establishment, and was probably one of the reasons why these 25 were targeted specifically, and that some other faculty members from the same centres had not received these letters.
The centres to which these teachers belong to are:
- Centre of Excellence for Human Rights Education
- School of Law, Rights and Constitutional Governance
- Advance Centre for Women’s Studies
- Centre for Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policies
The decision has sparked off a series of reactions on social media from TISS students.
Clarifying that the post was a personal, and non-official reaction, Rahul Adwani, who is the President of TISS Students' Union, posted the following message on his Facebook wall:
Another student had written the following:
Earlier this month, the Director of TISS, S Parasuraman, had sent a strongly-worded email to students, warning them against dragging TISS into the Delhi University row. This was issued after the TISS Students’ Union had issued a statement against the ABVP, blaming it for the violence in DU.