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TISS withdraws termination of over 100 employees after Tata Trust assures to release fund

The decision was taken after Tata Education Trust (TET) decided to continue the funding of the programme.
Last Updated : 30 June 2024, 11:11 IST

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Mumbai: In a surprising turn of events, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) has withdrawn its decision to terminate contracts of over 100 teaching and non-teaching staff after facing strong criticism from faculty members, student bodies and civil society. 

The decision was taken after Tata Education Trust (TET) decided to continue the funding of the programme. 

In a letter numbered Admn/5(1) TET-Faculty & Staff/2024, dated 28 June 2024, addressed to all TET Programme faculty and non-teaching staff — 55 faculty members and close to 60 non-teaching staff members across its four campuses - Mumbai, Tuljapur, Guwahati and Hyderabad, were informed through notices that their contracts would not be renewed and service ends on June 30, 2024.

The Progressive Students' Forum (PSF) of the TISS posted the information on X and Instagram condemning the development, causing an outrage.

In a statement issued on Sunday evening, TISS Registrar said that Tata Education Trust (TET) has assured to grant funds and hence, no one would be terminated. 

“It is crucial to clarify that these individuals were engaged under programs funded by the Tata Education Trust (TET) on a contractual basis for specific program durations. While it was unavoidable to issue discontinuation letters due to this contractual arrangement, there has been a positive development regarding the release of funds from TET. Ongoing discussions with the Tata Education Trust have provided assurance that resources will be made available to TISS to resolve this issue. TET has committed to releasing funds for the salaries of TET project/programme faculty and non-teaching staff,” according to a press statement.

“The letter is hereby withdrawn with immediate effect. They are requested to continue their work, and salaries will be released as soon as the TET Support Grant is received,” it said. 

While taking up the issue, the  PSF-TISS had said, “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."

“It has been learnt that on June 28, 2024, the TISS administration sent termination letters to nearly 100 teaching and non-teaching staff at the institute, informing them that their contracts will not be renewed and service ends on June 30, 2024. Even though the exact numbers are not clear, this shocking news comes just 48 hours before nearly a hundred institute staff members which were previously funded by the Tata Education Trust will become unemployed after years of service at TISS. It is completely a failure of the current leadership of TISS administration in running the institute and apathy of the BJP-led Union government,” the students' body had said in a statement. 

“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,” it added.

“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. 

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Published 30 June 2024, 11:11 IST

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