In a move that could come as a major relief to the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) which was faced with the possibility of the closure of three of its centres, the Universities Grants Commission (UGC) has given the varsity an extension up to March 2019.
In a move that could come as a major relief to the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) which was faced with the possibility of the closure of three of its centres, the Universities Grants Commission (UGC) has given the varsity an extension up to March 2019. This move by UGC comes in the wake of its order directing the closure of three of its centres back in 2017. The Commission had granted an extension to two out of three institutes back in September 2017, however, an official letter to this effect was received early this week, according to The Indian Express.
The Tata Institute of Social Sciences is currently running its three centres at its own cost, as funds from UGC are awaited. While the commission granted an extension to Centre for Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policies and Advanced Centre for Women’s Studies till March 2019, the Centre of Excellence for Human Rights Education was not granted an extension.
A faculty member of the institute, who works with one of the two centres said, “I received a letter confirming the extension of my tenure until March 2019. It puts an end to the speculation over our future for the time being.” Another official at the institute said, “For the two centres that got approval, we are following up on the release of funds. The third centre is being run by the institute. Expenses of all three centres are being borne by the institute.”
What is the matter all about?
Until March 2017, the three centres of TISS were funded under the schemes of the UGC’s 12th Five Year Plan. When the plan expired last year, the three centres faced closure and around 20 faculty members of the institute were terminated from their posts at the same time. An extension was given by UGC in September 2017, following an uproar among the students and teachers.
Meanwhile, while the institute is currently using its own funds, it is facing a major financial crisis. Reportedly, the institute has claimed it has a deficit of Rs 20 crore. An official said that TISS administration is now knocking on the doors of philanthropists and CSR wings of corporates. “Moreover, the GoI PMS scholarships assured to the protesting students will cost the institute an additional Rs 12 crore.”