After holding Vice Chancellor (VC), Rector and Registrar in one room for 27 hours, the Tribhuvan University (TU) and the agitating TU Professor´s Union signed an agreement on Monday to revise the vacancy advertisement that had created an ire in the university. The agreement has breached the initial verdict of the Supreme Court (SC) issued on February 22, 2010, officials say.
As per the deal, the Tribhuvan University would issue a special advertisement to begin a process to make permanent appointment of the contract lecturers, said the TU´s VC Hira Bahadur Maharjan. “We have agreed to correct the advertisement issued on Sept 16 and call for permanent appoint of certain number of contract lecturers,” said Maharjan.
Similarly, the agreement with the union also includes upgrading the part-time lecturers to contract lecturers. In an exhausted voice, Maharjan said that he was not in condition to explain further after being locked-up for hours.
The Professors´ Union had held them hostage at the Research Centre for Educational Innovation and Development (CERID) office claiming that the authority was not serious to implement the previous agreement. The unionists had locked up Maharjan, Rector Gun Nidhi Neupane and Registrar Chandra Mani Poudel in one room from Sunday 4 pm to 7 in the evening Monday. The three officials were compelled to sleep on couches Sunday night and survive on meagre provisions. “We didn't have any choice other than a cup of tea and a packet of biscuits,” said Neupane. However, the protesters claimed they had offered a decent meal to the officials. The agitating lecturers also spent their night in front of the CERID office.
“The TU taskforce will set further criteria to promote and make permanent appointment of the lecturers,” said Prem Khaniya, General Secretary of the Tribhuvan University Professor´s Union. Currently, there are 1,380 part-time lecturers and 460 course contract teachers as teaching assistant in the TU who were hired in 2006.
Meanwhile, a highly placed officer at law department of the Tribhuvan University said that the agreement was against the Supreme Court verdict issued on February, 2010 as per which the entire contract lecturers in the TU are legally out of job from the day of the verdict.
Responding to a writ, the SC verdict issued in the name of Tribhuvan University and the government to scrap the process of appointment and renewal of the tenure on contract basis and directed to fill up vacant posts through open competition.
“I am not in position to say anything without reading the latest agreement, but I must say it is the contempt of court if the deal has bypassed the apex court´s verdict to terminate all of them from the job,” said Narayan Khanal, legal advisor of the Tribhuvan University.
Meanwhile, the latest melodrama in the university has set yet another wrong precedent in the history of the university reacted, the TU former VC Madhav Prasad Sharma. He added that the officials should not have surrendered in fear.
“Whatever the situation, the officials like VC, rector and registrar are not supposed to surrender to the agitators forgetting the norms of the autonomous body,” said Sharma.
(Source: Republica National Daily and The Kathmandu Post)