Aurobindo College Under Fire from Teachers’ Union over Arbitrary Suspensions

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The popular college of commerce faces severe criticism by PCCTU for allegedly discriminatory and arbitrary suspension orders.
September 29, 2018: Sri Aurobindo College of Commerce and Management received flak from the members of PCCTU (Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers’ Union) for its allegedly arbitrary and unfair suspension orders against three of its own senior-most professors, back in May. The suspension came after the entire permanent faculty of the college raised their voices against the college administration for denying them their rights as given under the Punjab University Calendar.
Dr. Bulbul Singh, the founder teacher of the college, was threatened by Principal Dr. R L Behl, and forced to resign over the issue. The other two suspended teachers include Prof Atul Shiva and Prof Jai Parkash, who hold senior positions in the faculty. The dismissal orders led to an urgent investigation by the PU Fact-finding committee, constituted by Vice Chancellor in a PU Senate meeting. The committee visited the college and reported gross violations of the rights given by PU Calendar by Sri Aurobindo college.

Why Were The Teachers Suspended?

As claimed by the teachers’ union, the permanent faculty of the college gave a joint representation, requesting the management to give them their annual increments, which had been due since the past 2 years. The teachers also called out the authorities for not giving them leave on official gazetted holidays like Eid and Muharram. Regular grade promotions have also not been duly given by the college.
Principal Behl called it an act of indiscipline, proceeded to threaten all permanent teachers, and also obtained dictated apologies from them, including from the wrongly suspended and dismissed teachers.
“These suspensions are absolutely baseless”, PCCTU Spokesperson Prof. Jaswant Singh told CNI, “The college faculty had been making oral requests for their due increments and other rights since a long while, and made representation only after the management had refused to listen to them. The teachers did not strike or let their work be affected. But the college has taken out a vendetta against them and passed suspension orders. This has also resulted in a huge loss for the students.”

Panjab University’s Threat to Action

Aurobindo College faces the risk of de-affiliation from Panjab University if it does not take the necessary steps to justice, says Vice Chancellor, PU
The PU fact-finding committee reported against the college, following which Registrar, Panjab University Chandigarh gave interim orders. The college was directed to revoke the suspension orders immediately with retrospective effect. However, instead of complying with the orders, the college has dismissed services of the teachers. In view of such blatant disobeying of orders, PU senate has decided to keep the permanent affiliation of the college in abeyance. With strong demands from PCCTU, Vice Chancellor Dr. Raj Kumar has promised legal action against college, including disaffiliation.
The issue certainly raises questions on Sri Aurobindo’s management and its treatment of senior faculty. The deliberate flouting of orders by Registrar by the college is worrying and sets wrong precedent for the nearly 200 affiliated colleges under Panjab University.