Pune: About 200 professors had signed a petition on change.org portal seeking removal of State Education Minister Vinod Tawde till Saturday evening.
The online petition was filed by All India Private Colleges Employees Union (AIPCEU) on June 19. The petition has mentioned three major reasons to call for the removal of the minister, which are, 10,000 professors terminated in the last three months in Pune and Nagpur alone, no digitalisation of salary resulting in embezzlement, no digitalisation of inspection and payscale norms being never followed by colleges.
The petition reads, “Maharashtra, the state with second most number of engineering colleges, is facing a system crisis, employment crisis, teacher crisis and subsequently, will face education crisis and social and economic development crisis.
“The All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) 1:20 ruling and mismanagement of the Central and State higher education regulatory and statutory bodies had thrust this grave danger to the State. The Sinhgad Institutes Professors showdown has been witnessed and still the education minister is enjoying his office without feeling guilt.
“Plenty of professors have lost jobs because of the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) and Director of Technical Education (DTE) of Maharashtra had just allowed the AICTE 1:20 ratio without any concern. A part of the result is what you see in the ‘subject’ of this petition.”
Many professors from various colleges across Maharashtra who have faced termination or pending salaries issues, including those from Sinhgad Institutes in Pune, have come forward to sign the petition. A few of the comments echoed a similar blame about the incapability of authorities like AICTE, DTE, universities, University Grants Commission (UGC), Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) to control the menace of privatisation. While, few professors have expressed disappointment on Tawde’s pale reply that he cannot do much about private college problems, when several professors met him to seek a solution for private college problems.
While speaking to Sakal Times, one of the professors who is associated with SKN Sinhgad Institute of Technology & Science (SKNSITS), Lonavla and has also signed the petition, on the condition of anonymity, said, “The institute gets 50 per cent payment from students in general category and the rest is given by Social Welfare Department of the State government, which is always delayed. Moreover, he introduced the system of making teachers’ payments through co-operative banks instead of nationalised banks.”