More than 60 contractual non-teaching staff members have received eviction notices from Gujarat Vidyapith, in a first, requiring them to leave their residences on the university campus by May 31.
According to policies cited by the Mahatma Gandhi-founded University, Gujarat Vidyapith is not permitted to provide contractual staff members with official housing. “According to the rules, Gujarat Vidyapith cannot provide accommodation to contractual staff members,” Vice-Chancellor Prof Bharat Joshi told to sources.
The staffers, including peons and clerks — a majority of whom are in the Group C category working on a contract basis, have been living on the campus some for over 40 years.
They were allotted official accommodation or quarters from 2007 — when the contractual appointments were put in place — until 2018. Prior to 2007, they were regular staff.
Sources revealed that some of the staff members are second-generation employees at the Vidyapith and hence, the families have been living on the campus for more than 40 years.
However, authorities also claimed that some allotments were also done by the previous administration to those who were not eligible.
The decision to evict contractual staffers was taken in the very first meeting for the academic year 2023-24 of the Gujarat Vidyapith Mandal or Board of Trust held on April 20 under the chairmanship of Chancellor and Gujarat Governor Acharya Devvrat. The meeting, held at the Gujarat Vidyapith Mandal office, had 18 members in attendance, including the newly appointed trustees.
A resolution was passed to review the rent of properties and also to start the process “to get back the possession of residential and non-residential properties allotted or taken into possession against the rules or unauthorised allottment”.
Some of these residential quarters are stated to be in dilapidated conditions and would be repaired on an urgent basis.
“Out of these 60 quarters, only 20-25 are in good condition. The remaining are not in good condition and requires repairs and maintenance,” Prof Joshi added.
Since the contractual staff members do not have the HRA component, they were charged a nominal rent of Rs 140 per month.
The eviction notice is the latest in a slew of rapid changes witnessed at Gujarat Vidyapith, which was facing questions over its processes and its status as a deemed-to-be university.