Before a year special committee was formed to look into the issue of 167 Gujarat University employees deprived of benefits of pension, gratuity, etc.
In order to raise funds of a whopping Rs17 crore to build a corpus for the purpose, Gujarat University has turned to its self-finance courses and departments and asked them to credit 25% of the amount in their bank to the university’s special corpus.
Those who know about the development said that pro vice chancellor Jagdish Bhavsar has been calling up and requesting SFI departments to credit 25% of their existing bank money but no written communication has been made to the departments.
While the news of collecting funds may bring cheer to the beneficiaries, the news has raised some concern among those protesting the move alleging that the varsity is going against the Gujarat government’s diktat to provide benefits like pension, gratuity apart from those of regular GU employees.
Jashwnat Thakkar, who was part of the committee, said they have suggested that the 167 employees should not have to suffer for the GU authorities’ goof-up and so the varsity must come up with a means to pay these employees their retirement benefits.
“How to implement this is GU’s prerogative as the executive council has also passed the proposal” he said. When asked, Bhavsar said he did not have an idea about the total amount to be raised.
An official said, “We have to raise about Rs17 crore to provide benefits like pension of an estimated Rs7,000 to Rs30,000 a month to employees in various posts like peon, senior clerk and junior clerk.
It is from the interest money of the corpus that pension money to those who retired, family pension to those who passed away, apart from other financial benefits will be provided.”
The official said a committee formed by GU stated in its report that the employees in question were recruited with orders by GU authorities, which mentioned about financial benefits of regular employees.
Sources said the 167 staffers were recruited in GU between 1985 to 1998. In 2008-09, discrepancies in their recruitment came to fore when passing on of benefits of the 6th pay commission was being considered.
The state government found out that the employees were recruited without the due permissions of the education department and the finance Department, and so the state government was not obliged to provide them retirement benefits.
“The government has also stated that GU is an academic facilitator and not a financial facilitator of these recruits, and so it will be going against the government’s order if the varsity pays them the retirement benefit,” said another official presenting a counter view.