Kolkata, Oct 16 (PTI) Visva-Bharati has decided to deduct the half-day salary of its staff as 'voluntary contribution' for the maintenance and urgent repair of the heritage 'Upasana Griho' or prayer hall, triggering protest by a section of its teachers.
In a recent notification, the central university said that as per the decision taken at a meeting with departmental heads on September 30, the half-day salary of every staff will be deducted.
'Those unwilling to contribute may kindly send their intimation via mail to Visva Bharati mail Id by October 20,' the notice, copy of which was made available on Friday, said.
The money will be deducted from the October salary of the staff, it added.
Reacting to the notice, the Visva Bharati University Faculty Association president Sudipta Bhattacharya said the varsity cannot unilaterally deduct the salary amount of its employees on one hand and ask them to communicate if they are not willing to pay on the other -- 'as this is contradictory'.
It is a matter of debate as the donation is being sought to maintain and repair a property, which does not belong to Visva-Bharati but is of the Shantiniketan Trust, Bhattacharya said.
The trust is the sole authority for the repair and maintenance of 'Upasana Griha', the senior faculty member added.
Built by Devendranath Tagore in 1863, the glass- panelled landmark on the campus is used for holding prayer sessions.
The university had recently urged its alumni to donate for the prayer hall and raise a corpus of Rs 5 lakh. PTI SUS SOM SOM