The prestigious Mysuru-based Jayachamarajendra College of Engineering (JCE) has waded into a controversy. Now known as JSS Science and Technology University after turning private four years ago, JCE is allegedly drawing salaries in grants from the state government for its teaching and non-teaching staff.
Now, the staff are on the warpath after the management put their salaries on hold following objections raised by an official of the state Department of Technical Education.
One of the top engineering colleges in the state, JCE was an aided institution till 2007 after which it received autonomous status and later turned a private university in 2016-17.
According to a source in the technical education department, the grants provided to JCE staff come to around Rs 1.2 crore every month. "The amount is being released for the past four years," the source said.
As per the documents available with DH, an official has red-flagged the release of salaries by the government for the staff of JCE, which is now part of JSS Science and Technology University.
Following objections, the department withheld the salaries of the staff for three months and has approached the government, seeking clarification from the finance department.
The file containing the details of the issue, which is available with DH, reads, "There were no admissions to JCE for the last four years. Admissions were made to the JSS University. With this, even the workload has come down for the staff who were teaching aided courses at JCE. When this is the case, why did the department release the salaries of staff for the last four years?"
Meanwhile, the JCE staff who have been drawing their pay from the government staged a protest on Thursday, demanding release of salaries. Giving in, the management has agreed to pay the pending salaries, but got an undertaking from the staff that they will return the amount to it once the government releases the grants.
University authorities denied the allegations. They said it is the government which has to stop giving grant in aid. Dr K S Lokesh, Registrar of JSS University, said, "There are nine grants for aided courses in JCE, and we are providing 95% seats to the government, filling them through CET. It is a technical issue between the university and the government and we have communicated the same to the government. The issue will be resolved soon."
JCE Principal Dr T N Nagabushan said the government has sought some clarifications and that they have replied.
When contacted, H U Talwar, Director, technical education, said, "Some of the officials at our department did not understand the process and raised an objection. We have forwarded the same to the government and it is before the finance department now. We cannot withhold the salaries of an aided college just because it has become a private university. Moreover, JSS University is providing 95% of its seats to the government."
Dr K G Chandrashekar, additional director incharge of engineering colleges, who had raised the objections, denied to comment but said, "I have recorded my opinion in the file and I don't want to reveal any further details."