Published: 26th June 2020
Illogical and Irrational: Visva Bharati University faculty criticise notice asking them to return to work
In its recent notice, the central university has said that faculty members who went "out-of-station before or during lock down, are now expected to be back
The faculty association at Visva Bharati University has urged its Vice Chancellor to withdraw a recent notice, asking them to join office and take part in the "affairs of the university", claiming that it would expose everyone to health risks.
The association, in its letter to VC Bidyut Chakraborty, also reasoned that the directive, if implemented, would violate the government's COVID-19 guidelines. In its recent notice, the central university has said that faculty members who went "out-of-station before or during lock down, are now expected to be back in Santiniketan (where th;e institute is situated) and take part in the affairs of the university".
Those living in containment zones, however, have been spared for the time being. Describing the notice as 'illogical and irrational', Sudipta Bhattacharya, the president of Visva Bharati University Faculty Association, said, "We are happy that the university management had asked students to stay home, deferred all pending exams in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Shouldn't the varsity authorities also show some concern for the health of its faculty members?" The varsity, in its notice issued earlier in the month, asked the departments to hold "mandatory meetings, ensuring physical presence of the faculty members", the screenshots of which would have to be sent to the registrar. "This necessitated unnecessary travel for the members of the faculty stuck outside the campus.
This also violates the Centre's directive to avoid physical presence in meetings as much as possible and exposes them to risks of infection," the letter to the VC said, urging him to withdraw the notice. The VC and spokesperson Anirban Sarkar were not available for comment on the matter.