Fearing that state universities will be brought under the ambit of an online transfer system for employees in Haryana, the teaching and non-teaching staff of Rohtak-based Maharshi Dayanand University (MDU) observed a pen-down strike on Friday to protest the arrangement. The online system is used to allocate postings to government employees in the state.
The employees demanded assurance in writing from the Bharatiya Janata Party-Jannayak Janata Party government that state universities will be kept outside the purview of transfer policy.
“The pen-down strike was observed by every non-teaching staff member, including registrars and clerks, of the university,” Randhir Kataria, president of MDU Non-teaching Employees Association, told Newsclick.
Vikas Siwach, president of MDU Teachers Association, also claimed that the strike by the university teachers was 100 per cent successful. “Only teachers on exam duty were not part of the strike,” he said. Similar protests will be held by teaching and non-teaching associations of every state university, he added. The MDU employees had also protested the policy on Wednesday by wearing black bands.
Earlier this month, the Manohar Lal Khattar–led state government had approved the amendment of its flagship online transfer policy to ensure its implementation in all the departments in the state with a staff strength of 80 or more.
Newsclick had earlier reported how employees of state universities fear the dilution in the quality of research and training in institutes of higher education if the amended transfer policy becomes applicable to them.
“We shared our concerns with the vice chancellor yesterday. He assured us that the policy won’t apply to state universities. We want the same assurance in writing from the state government,” Kataria said.
Calls made to MDU vice chancellor Rajbir Singh by Newsclick to get a response went unanswered.
The protesting employees of MDU will also meet Khattar in the coming days. “In case of no positive response, we will go ahead with our protest plans,” Siwach said.
Launched in 2016, the policy for state government school teachers allowed them to apply for transfer online by selecting the zones in order of their preference across the 22 districts of the state. It was a break from the traditional way, a process which reportedly was plagued with corruption and recommendation.
The transfer policy is voluntary for employees who have completed one year of regular service in a zone and mandatory for those with five years of service. The new system, showcased as a significant government reform that caught the attention of other state governments, subsequently saw other departments in Haryana coming under its purview over the years.