TISS to close down three centres


The institute may shut down the three academic centres, which UGC had sanctioned as PLAN projects and promised funds for.

In a move that may impact the employment of a number of faculties at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), the director, S Parasuraman, recently declared that the institute has been struggling to sail through owing to the University Grants Commission’s failure to release the sanctioned funds.

The institute may apparently shut down the three academic centres, which UGC had sanctioned as PLAN projects and promised funds for—Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policies, Advanced Centre for Women’s Studies and the Nodal Centre for Excellence under the Scheme of Human Rights Education.

The three centres are likely to face closure as the 12th (and last) Five Year Plan period ends on March 31. The failure to get an official extension for the UGC-sanctioned centres, established under various plans till date, has been cited as the reason for the institute to take the extreme step, shocking its teaching community.

Talking of the same, Parasuraman shared with the media that though these centres had been sanctioned and funding approved, the institute has not received grants for payment of salaries and other operating costs.

He added that these centres have been doing remarkable work in teaching, research and extension services, since their inception. The work of these centres has been well documented and submitted to the UGC from time to time too.

He also shared that the Institute has been regularly following up with UGC for the release of Rs 511.25 lakh, spent by the Institute upfront to manage these three centres. TISS has written to the UGC to continue these centres, established under various Plans, beyond the 12th Plan period (March 31, 2017).

Parasuraman also shared that owing to the pending decision by the UGC, the natural course of action for the Institute was to inform the faculty and staff specifically appointed in these centres that their appointments shall lapse by March 31.

This was done because without an order from the UGC extending the period of these centres, the Institute will not have legitimacy to claim the cost incurred in continuing with these positions, the director stated.

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