Professor Upendra Kumar said he is one of the four members from the technical college who were terminated on June 17, during the lockdown.

A proffessor looking at the black boardImage for representation only
Coronavirus Employment Wednesday, July 08, 2020 - 19:50

A professor from St Peter’s Engineering College has filed a complaint with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) over the ‘illegal’ termination of a few staff members amid the coronavirus situation.


Professor Upendra Kumar, who has more than 21 years of teaching experience, said he is one of the four members from the college who were terminated on June 17, during the lockdown.

Not only did he approach the NHRC seeking justice, Upendra also sent legal notices to all the bodies concerned, including the institute, Commissionerate of Technical Education, Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University - Hyderabad (JNTU-H) and other central bodies, urging them to intervene in the matter.

Speaking to TNM, Upendra said, “We were unjustly removed from our jobs. Despite the lockdown, we were working from home as we are taking classes via Zoom for the students. Suddenly, they have removed us, based on a unilateral decision, without speaking to us.” 

The professor explained how the termination came added to his plight. “My close family members were diagnosed with COVID-19 and were being treated in the city. How are we supposed to live if we are removed without any valid reason, that too, amid such a tough situation? How is this fair?” he asked. 

According to Upendra, while the matter is still being discussed through legal notices, the college told its staff that the four lecturers were removed for ‘defaming them’.

Responding to the legal notices of professor Upendra, Telangana’s Commissioner of Technical Education Navin Mittal has asked the college for point-wise remark, along with documentary support, to justify the proposal for termination from the college.

Though Upendra is continuing his fight, there are many other lecturers across technical institutes in the state who are helplessly fighting for pending salaries, sudden termination and pay-cuts. They are in a dilemma over how to go forward.

 To address these concerns, the Telangana Technical Institutions Employees Association (TTIEA), which consists of 22,000 members, recently conducted a poll to understand the next course of action. 

About 60% of the employees said they should go to court and file a petition against the authorities for not taking lecturers’ representation into consideration and not taking any action.

While 20% said they are fine with whatever is decided by the association, 10% said that they should protest at University and various offices. Another 10% said that one more representation to University.

After receiving responses from faculty members from various colleges in the state, the association has decided to approach the court and fight for the pending salaries.

Bala Krishna from TTIEA said, “There are hundreds of lecturers in the state whose salaries have been affected due to the lockdown. All the lecturers were made to work via online classes, but their salaries were not paid in time.”

Read: 'Where is KCR?': Telangana journalist moves HC for CM's location and health details


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