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'Dismantling of higher education': TISS termination notice kicks up political row

CPI (M), described it as Amrit Kaal of systematic dismantling of higher education.
Last Updated : 30 June 2024, 12:20 IST

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Mumbai: A day after Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) dismissed 100 teaching and non-teaching staff because of lack of financial support, the institute has withdrawn the order after the Tata Education Trust assured resources will be made available to the TISS.

However, the development has already snowballed into a political issue. 

On Saturday, the Progressive Students' Forum (PSF) of the TISS, in a statement, said administration must immediately revoke the "termination" of the faculty and staff members.

“Strongly condemn the mass termination of around 100 teaching and non-teaching staff at TISS under the BJP-led union government PSF stands in solidarity with the teachers and staff at TISS,” the PSF-TISS said.

“As students, we express our concern about this decision. The previous years' NIRF data shows that the student-faculty ratio is being impacted negatively. This means that the currently employed faculty is insufficient in terms of the number of students admitted to TISS each year. While the termination of a hundred such positions will directly impact the futures of the students who are enrolling in the Institute, it might also allow for politically motivated appointments in the near future,” the students’ body said. 

“TISS is a premier institute that has existed for nearly 90 years, and through the contribution of its faculty and staff, it has achieved a distinct status as a social science institute. Last year, the BJP-led union government took over TISS, making it a fully 'public-funded institute,” the statement said. 

Meanwhile, CPI (M), described it as Amrit Kaal of systematic dismantling of higher education.

RJD national spokesperson Manoj Kumar Jha said: “Shocked but not surprised!! This is the 'vision' of this government. If you study you would ask questions…thats why don’t allow them to study.”

Activist Shabnam Hashmi said: “The whole issue is too complex but what is very clear is that priorities of the earlier UPA and NDA  are very different . Heard only a two day notice has been given. Those who voted for this government will remain responsible for the falling graph of education, science , health and infrastructure.”

“Also Ratan Tata probably has given charge to others to run his companies for whom spending Rs 650 crore on building a museum of temples ( MoU signed three days ago with Yogi Sarkar) is more important than supporting TISS .  When education becomes secondary , then it has an impact on the whole nation and we are witnessing that every passing day,” she posted on X.

Dr. Aashish Xaxa, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Adivasi/Indigenous and Development Studies, IIT Gandhinagar, posted: “As an alumnus of TISS, this is deeply upsetting and frustrating. Shame on TISS for allowing this to happen. They have axed teachers who would nurture future students and future generations. How does an institute grow like this? Such practices need to stop immediately. Period.”

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Published 30 June 2024, 12:20 IST

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