Kolkata: Teachers drop out, Presidency's world-class dream takes a beating

PresidencyIn the past one year, at least nine professors have left the university, some of them in less than a year after being hired

After the Trinamool Congress came to power, one of the promises Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee made was to turn the Presidency University into a world-class centre of excellence and revive its past glory. But two years later, things are not exactly looking up for the university, with the flight of teachers being one of the major headaches.

In the past one year, at least nine professors have left the university, some of them in less than a year after being hired, because of low payscale, corruption and poor infrastructure.

Professor Prabir Mukherjee, who joined the physics department in October 2012, quit on November 30 that year. His appointment, he said, was "confusing". "When I was given an appointment letter, it said I was being hired as an associate professor but when I received my salary it was that of an assistant professor. The difference in pay was about Rs 20,000," he told The Indian Express.

"When I asked, I was told that I would have to be on probation for a year and after that I would be officially made an associate professor and would be paid the difference in salary with retrospective effect. I didn't agree to it because I am associated with various journals and there are friends whom I had told that I was an associate professor and updated my information on the net as well. How could I tell them that I was back to being an assistant professor? I would be proving myself a liar. So, I put in my papers," he said.

Another professor, who did not want to be named, alleged that he quit because there were people in the administration who told him to resort to unfair ways to make up for his pay deficit. "They offered me several projects through which I would charge the university and earn a lot of money apart from the salary. I was told that my salary could not be beyond what the UGC permits but these perks would help me earn more. It was unfair and I found it very disturbing, which is why I resigned," he said.

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