The Nigdi institute has been calling all employees since June 1, in contravention of government guidelines in the pandemic.

While educational institutes will remain shut till September 30 due to the coronavirus pandemic, apart from the examination process on in various
colleges, Nigdi-based Pimpri-Chinchwad Polytechnic has been calling all their employees since June 1, in contravention of government guidelines.

Now, the institute has received a notice from the Directorate of Technical Education (DTE) to explain their actions.

This comes after the teaching faculty of the college complained that the institute’s administration, Pimpri-Chinchwad Education Trust, was compelling all employees to come to work despite 16 employees contracting coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Even after a COVID care centre (CCC) was established on campus, the college kept insisting on 100 per cent attendance by its staff, they alleged,
demanding that they should be called to work at least in a staggered manner.

A teacher at the college said, “The institute has been calling all faculties at full strength, increasing the risk of getting infected with COVID-19. We
already have at least 16 employees who tested positive for the virus. Still, more than 50 teachers are still coming to the college every day.”

The teacher added, “We have been given work from counselling students to dealing with admission queries and while we understand the importance of the admission process, the work can be done with far lesser people. We can come alternate days or few days in a week and work can be easily distributed amongst us.”

The faculty approached Teachers’ Association for Non-Aided Polytechnics (Tafnap) with their grievances who have taken it up with DTE. They also
complained that the staff are also facing a salary cut of 50 per cent.
Shridhar Vaidya, secretary, Tafnap, said, “While the educational institutes have to be shut till September 30, colleges can function with 30 per cent staff strength. Despite 16 employees infected with COVID-19, the college continues to compel faculties to work in full strength.”

The teachers have also complained that for couple of months now, the college has been paying only 50 per cent salaries, despite All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) instructing all colleges to pay salaries to their employees.

Dr DR Nandanwar, joint director, DTE, said, “We have served a notice to the college and asked them to inform the local authority about cases in their
college along with guidance about physical distancing norms. Also, as per the norms, college has to pay full salaries to all members of the faculty so we have inquired about the salary cut.”

According to the norms laid down by the government, only 30 per cent of staff at all offices are allowed to present on site at any given moment of time.

The college cannot mark employees absent if they do not come to work during pandemic situation.

Dr Girish Desai, executive director, Pimpri-Chinchwad Education Trust, he said that the college has been following all the norms
laid by the state government and local authorities.


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