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TISS faculty members to go on mass leave over contracts

Move might affect admission interviews in institute

GUWAHATI: As many as 14 contractual faculty members of the Guwahati campus of Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) have decided to go on mass leave from April 1 demanding contract tenures beyond the one-year term currently offered.

The decision by the faculty members is likely to affect admission interviews for the new academic year slated from April 1 to 4 even as they have written a letter to the students of the institute here on Saturday, citing reasons for their stand.

The letter stated that it was agreed during a discussion with the deputy director in-charge, deans and chairs last month that longer duration contracts were needed to maintain the excellence of the institute.

The faculty members had in that meeting made it clear that they would stop participating in administrative activities, if the institute did not give them longer duration contracts and clarity on the terms of the contract.

“Without any consultation with us, the institute sent us back (with) one-year contract,” the letter read.

The faculty members claimed that there has been an impasse with the administration, who kept insisting that they cannot give contracts over a one year period. The letter also stated that two faculty members left the institute last year due to this very reason.

The faculty members include R.K. Debbarma, convener of ST/SC Cell and Equal Opportunity Cell; Rajdeep Singha, chairperson of Centre for Labour Studies and Social Protection; Debdulal Saha, convener, Placement Cell and International Relations Office; Ilito Achumi, convenor of Foundation Courses; Razdan Rahaman, chairperson, Centre of Livelihood and Social Entrepreneurship; Yengkhom Jilangamba, Chairperson, Centre of Peace and Conflict Studies; Monica Kaothala, Chairperson, Master of Social Work (MSW) Counselling. Prashant Kesharvani, Shivani Chauhan B, fieldwork coordinator, MSW, Stephen Pamei, Rinya Pura, Lavinia Mawlong and Namita Brahma

The students union of TISS has expressed solidarity and lent its support to the demands of the faculty members.

“We are with the faculty members. Tomorrow, we will have a general body meeting in this regard,” Manta Wangsu, a representative of the general body meeting (GBM), told The Shillong Times on Saturday.

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