IIM Calcutta Faculty Body Lodges Complaint To Education Ministry Against Director

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Kolkata: Dissatisfied with the functioning of the campus, the faculty of the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Kolkata have come together to lodge a complaint against director Professor Anju Seth.

The IIM Calcutta Faculty Association (IIMCFA) has written to the Ministry of Education asking for its intervention in the matter. The association claims that only one additional faculty member has been hired in the last two years, despite several resignations and retirements. It also alleged a steep decline in research funding.

“Over the last two years, there have been at least eight resignations from among regular and contractual non-teaching staff members, most of whom have not been replaced. This has adversely affected the quality of teaching and research. The general morale of the faculty and staff of the Institute is at an all-time low,” the faculty wrote.

The faculty also claimed harassment and said that there is selective targeting rather than redressal. “It may be noted that just in the last two months two faculty members (including a foreign national) have resigned, citing harassment by the Director. Two Deans and some faculty members holding other administrative positions have sought to be relieved of their administrative responsibilities. The Director has been unwilling to accept resignations and relieve colleagues from their administrative responsibilities, compelling them to work under duress, even when they sought relief on serious medical grounds. A few faculty members have formally lodged harassment complaints against the Director, which have been pending for months, with no redressal,” the letter stated.

In the letter, the Association also claimed that there has been an alarming decline in the quality of academics in the institute under the current director.

“Research funding has come down drastically and post-doctoral research fellowships have been discontinued. Internal funding for research projects and international conferences, so important to building and maintaining research networks, are discouraged to augment the annual surplus; externally-funded research projects have often been actively discouraged or their approval arbitrarily delayed. Even minimal teaching support, such as teaching assistants,  digital infrastructure for online teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, etc, have been denied to faculty and students of IIMC,” the faculty body wrote.

“We fear that unless there is an effective intervention from the Ministry of Education, IIM  Calcutta will see a drastic decline in its academic capabilities and lose its hard-earned global reputation,” IIMCFA secretary Ashok Banerjee was quoted as saying by EdexLive.

Seth, who is an alumnus of the IMM-Calcutta 1978 batch, is the first woman director of the institute.

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