UGC to discuss  cancellation of circulars

by Dasun Edirisinghe

The University Grants Commission (UGC) would today (18) hold discussion on some of the earlier issued circulars, which Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa had promised the Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA) would be cancelled.

UGC Chairman Prof. Gamini Samaranayake told The Island that the commission would meet today at the UGC boardroom to discuss the issue

Commenting on FUTA’s claim that although the secretary to the higher education ministry had sent a letter asking the UGC to cancel those circulars, the UGC was still delaying to do so, he said that he received the secretary’s letter regarding only on Tuesday evening.

"We cannot withdraw the circulars over night," Prof. Samaranayake said adding that it would have to go through the due process.

The UGC issued some circulars according to the government’s requirements, he said adding that those would be widely discussed.

The senior professor said that university academics must be considered on accountability not only the autonomy as they are paid from public funds.

Salaries for the last three months of university teachers would be paid by the relevant universities and it is not handled by the UGC, Prof. Samaranayake said.

FUTA President Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri said that some universities, including the Colombo University, had paid only a Rs. 100,000 as a salary advance.

However, the full amount for last three months would be paid at the end of this month with the October salary, he said.

Dr. Dewasiri said that only the Sri Jayewardenepura University paid the salaries for last three months in full.

University teachers launched the strike on July 04 and it was ended on the assurance of Minister Rajapaksa on Oct. 11.

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