NIT Durgapur professor calls off fast after assurance

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NIT Durgapur entrance gate

National Institute of Technology (NIT) Durgapur is in news again. Continuing its recent trends of protest and agitation, an assistant professor of the NIT in Durgapur who started a fast-unto-death demanding correction of promotion anomalies, called off his protest yesterday after the authorities promised to look into his grievances.
Forty-six other faculty members who were in relay dharnas inside the campus from 5th April demanding that anomalies related to their promotions and salaries be sorted out, have also withdrawn their protest following assurance from the NIT.

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Main entrance of the NIT at Durgapur

Subrata Nandi, 40, a faculty member in the computer science and engineering department, who joined the institute as a lecturer in 1998 alleged that a promotion due to him in 2008 was given in 2011. Nandi alleged that the promotion was delayed because when the NIT implemented the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations in January 2006; his previous experience was not taken into account.
“I was supposed to become assistant professor on September 18, 2008. But because my past experience was not counted, I got the promotion three years later,” Nandi said. “I had written to the NIT administration several times but got no reply,” he added.
The assistant professor launched the hunger strike after a letter from the Union human resources development ministry reached the NIT recently, ordering that all anomalies in employee promotions and salaries be corrected before April 30.
Nandi said the NIT would implement a new promotion policy in the coming months and the records must be corrected before that to mention that he got his promotion in 2008, not 2011, so that his next promotion, due in 2014, is not delayed.
The NIT authorities however denied Nandi’s allegations initially and said the assistant professor did not appear before the selection committee for his promotion in 2008. “Nandi was supposed to appear before the selection committee but did not do so. He got his promotion in 2011 after he applied to us. There was no anomaly,” said Debidas Ghosh, the NIT director. Ghosh denied that Nandi’s records prior to 2006 were not taken into account. “He is making up these things,” the director said.
Nandi said he had gone on study leave for four months around the time he was to appear before the selection committee “after informing the authorities”. “I had gone to the University of Technology, Dresden, to complete my PhD. The NIT could have arranged for the interview after I returned in November 2008.”
Mr. Nandi had to be hospitalised yesterday morning. Immediately after that, NIT director-in-charge Debidas Ghosh went to met him in the hospital requested him to broke his fast and assured him that his grievances would be looked into. Doctors at the NIT health centre in Durgapur said he was suffering from acute dehydration and his blood pressure had fallen. “We have given him saline and medicines,” a doctor said.
“I told him his grievances would be addressed and requested him to withdraw the fast because of his health. I also gave him ORS water,” Ghosh said.
Nandi said after he was discharged from the health centre in the afternoon: “I have withdrawn the fast for the time being as the NIT authorities assured me that my grievances will be looked into. But if my demands are not met, I will again sit on a hunger strike.”
NIT director Tarakeswar Kumar and registrar Prabhdeep Singh Sandhu have called an emergency meeting today evening at the director’s chamber to discuss Nandi’s demand and the demand of the Forty-six other faculty members. Six deans will also attend the meeting.
Forty-six other faculty members also sat on relay dharnas outside the administrative building since Friday morning, complaining about anomalies in their promotions have also withdrawn their protest.

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1 Comment on NIT Durgapur professor calls off fast after assurance

  1. Subrata is a good friend of mine, we studied together long back at Ramakrishna Mission Vidyamandir, Belur. He was known for his disciplined life and stand against the oods. Although, I am not aware of what actually happened in this case, but he should not use hunger strike as weapon to meet his demand this way

    Dr Tarakranjan Gupta, Bangalore

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