A professor in Bihar has returned his two years and nine months’ worth of salary, ₹23.8 lakh while protesting against zero attendance in his classes.
Lallan Kumar is an assistant professor of Hindi at Nitishwar College in Muzzafarpur. A no-show from his students and repeated ignorance of his request for transfer to a different college have prompted his move against the University. He says he fears academic death.
My conscience does not allow me to take a salary without teaching. Even during online classes (during the pandemic), there were only a handful of students present for Hindi classes. If I take a salary without teaching for five years, it would be academic death for me.
Kumar has been seeking a transfer for years now. While speaking to the media, he called out the unfair allotment of teachers from the University board. He said they took a ‘pick and choose’ method rather than paying heed to a candidate’s merit or preference.
When I had joined, I was not posted to a college where I could teach postgraduate classes. Those with lower ranks (in the selection process) got those postings. Here, the students never show up.
Reportedly, Manoj Kumar, the principal of the college has called out Kumar’s claim of zero attendance to be baseless. He said that the classes have been disrupted because of the pandemic for two years. Denying Kumar’s claims, the principal also said, “He should’ve told me directly if he wanted a transfer.”
The University has taken a note of the professor’s complaint against no classes. RK Thakur, Vice-Chancellor of Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar Bihar University claims that professor Kumar is just upset about his transfer demand. His cheque for returning the salary has also not been accepted yet.