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SSCBS Staff Protest: Salaries Not Paid Since the Past Three Months

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Teachers and non-teaching staff of SSCBS continue to protest, as they have still not received their salaries and it has disrupted their personal lives.

The last time I paid my home’s E.M.I. was in November because that’s the last time I was paid my salary,

– said Dr. Narander Kumar Nigam, who is a professor at Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies (SSCBS).

Professors, along with the non-teaching staff, have not been paid their salaries for the past three months. Due to this, everyone, including the students, is facing issues at the college. SSCBS is one of the 12 Delhi University (DU) colleges that finds itself amidst the ongoing row between the Delhi government and DU.

Due to the non-payment of salaries, teachers are under massive financial stress. Dr. Nigam enumerated how it has become difficult to go about their everyday lives. Professors are unable to pay their children’s fees, loans, or medical bills. Dr. Nigam stated that he had to borrow money from his relatives, even though both he and his wife are employed.

When I am doing everything that I am expected to do, from taking classes to evaluating papers, then why am I not paid for that work?

– Dr. Narander Kumar Nigam, professor, SSCBS

Ayush, a student of SSCBS, also explained that it is very taxing for the professors to take classes under such circumstances. He further noted that this is not the first time such a thing has happened. Dr. Nigam, too, noted that this is a consistent thing that they have been experiencing since the pandemic.

People have to take loans just to meet their daily needs or clear medical bills.

– Ayush, a student of SSCBS

Further, as per Dr. Nigam, the faculty strength at the moment is 22, but the sanctioned strength is 44. Moreover, he explained that, as per University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines, the strength should have been around 70. SSCBS has around 50 societies and 20 committees, and it is becoming difficult to manage all of them.

Sirf 22 faculty members ke saath, ek teacher kitna sambhal sakta hai? (There are only 22 faculty members; how much can one teacher handle?)

-Dr. Narander Kumar Nigam, professor, SSCBS

Professors at SSCBS have been protesting against the situation. However, they have collectively made sure that the students should not suffer, and till now no class has been suspended, though they claimed that the emotional stress of it all continues to be present among both the students and the teachers. Given the fact that the final semester students will be appearing for their final exams in less than three months, professors continue to take all the classes.

The students of SSCBS have shown their solidarity with the teachers. According to Ayush, on February 12, the student council of the college urged everyone to wear black as a “symbolic gesture” to show their solidarity.

Teachers have been protesting every day at the college. Dr. Nigam claimed that the teachers protest only during their free time so that students are not affected. As per the students, this may be one of the reasons that people outside the college are under the impression that the “protest” may not be serious.

Students of the college also feel that significant steps towards making the problem known have not been taken due to its location. Ujjwal, a student at SSCBS, has expressed that, though SSCBS is an off-campus college, it has charted good ranks for itself. But, due to its location, the ongoing situation at the college has not yet come to light.

If it were a college on North Campus, the situation would have garnered attention.

–  Ujjwal, student of SSCBS

Furthermore, as per a statement by the Delhi government in January, it will release the funds to the 12 DU colleges only when they are de-affiliated to become a part of Delhi’s state universities. However, the students at SSCBS feel very differently about this.

The mindset of the students at SSCBS is different. Apart from wanting to get the “DU degree,” we want the college to stay under DU because a college like SSCBS should be associated with a name that can justify its stature. All the students and the professors here have worked hard to build up the institution’s name. We cannot accept going under the Delhi government

-Expressed Vasu, a student of SSCBS.

Nevertheless, as per the students, the emotional turmoil that the professors are undergoing has led to irregularities in how and what is being taught in classes. Ujjwal expressed:

Though the teachers are doing their best, sometimes they come to class, share their experience, and leave.

Dr. Nigam further shared that when they take classes, it is very difficult for a teacher to keep their emotions or things that are going around in their minds outside the class. Though the principal of the college is sympathetic towards the issues and has allegedly asked the teachers to continue their classes, both the students and the teachers are under immense emotional duress. Students and teachers at SSCBS have a lot of concern for the reputation and the educational quality that their college commands. However, things look dull as teachers and non-teaching staff continue the protest for their salaries.

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Featured Image Credits: Student Council of SSCBS

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Ankita Baidya

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