“What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think”
- Ralph Emerson
There is a story of two friends who stood before an ancient magnificent monument. One asked, "Why can't we build structures like this anymore?". The friend answered, "The people who built this had conviction and allegiance. Today we have only opinions and conclusions. And you can't build a monument with opinions and conclusions". Convictions are necessary for building the institutions and sustaining the movements. With the strong support of you all, our team has the satisfaction that for the last two years we could discharge the responsibility of leading Amuct with conviction and loyalty and upheld the dignity and vision of our esteemed association.
The mandate was short but our achievements have been noteworthy. Besides representing Amuct effectively and elegantly at all forums and with all officials and institutions, we have worked for long hours to set right quite a few things like calling a Special General Body meeting and brought a through amendment in our bye-laws, renewal of our registration which was pending, setting right all the records and files in order, obtaining PAN card, redesigning and re- launching the Amuct web-site which has become highly popular across the country (from 1-11-2013 to 24-06-2014; in just 8 months we have 18,757 visitors), renovating the Amuct Office, collaborating with local units in the organisation of conferences, workshops and annual academic conventions, solving the issue of re-deployment and implementation of the enhanced rates of remuneration for all kinds of examination related work by the University. Organising the XXVII Statutory Conference of AIFUCTO along with a National Conference on Higher Education for three days, which has been hailed by all as a landmark in the history of AIFUCTO- is the icing on the cake for all of us. The Conference has made Amuct a brand name among college and university teachers across the country and given Amuct an opportunity to exhibit its high standard of oragnisational skills, technological acumen and total involvement of all members. I thank all the members, office bearers and leaders for their support and guidance during the last two years.
During these two years the most important challenge that took a much of our time and energy has been the task of getting our monthly salary credited to our bank accounts. Initially HRMS and problems associated with it coupled with changes in the cheque clearance system at the bank have been responsible in the delaying of the salary. Since last three months clubbing the salary with the issue of refixation of nationally fixed salary has worsened the situation. Visits and calls to Officials and political leaders have taken most of our time. It is unfortunate that aided staff of the colleges have been made to beg for their rightful due. In spite of our constant efforts very often, we were able to get our salary only around the 20th of the month.
I strongly feel that a small section of the staff and officers of the Department of Collegiate Education- who take their salary on the very first day of the month - is ought to bring either bad name for the Government or want to play with the emotions of the aided staff by withholding salary- which is the only source of livelihood for a majority of teaching and non-teaching staff of aided colleges. The DCE office in Bangalore is misguiding the Government by giving illogical, inhuman Acts / Circulars and Figures. It is also blackmailing the staff of aided colleges initially by withholding DA and other arrears and now by non-payment of salary. Here in Mangalore, it is unfortunate that the entire Regional Office has been engaged in shifting the college!. Payment of salary for over 925 teaching and non-teaching staff is not an issue for them! Can there be any rightful explanation for withholding the salary and other arrears due by linking it to refixation notional fixation of salary? We strongly feel that all this has been happening without the knowledge of the Hon’ble Minister for Higher Education or Principal Education Secretary. Hope the Hon’ble Minister for Higher Education and our political representatives read this and understand our plights and restore our basic right.
At the association level many of our founding members and former Office bearers and leaders are either retired or on the verge of retirement on account of superannuation. I gratefully acknowledge their services in building Amuct as a well managed recognised and appreciated association of the teacher movement and wish them a fruitful and fulfilling post-retired life.
Before I sign off, new academic year has begun with that new questions about the choices have born. Many Institutions have already written eulogies to B.A., B.S.W, B.C.A and more surprisingly to the much sought B.B. M. courses. Except B.A. all other courses which have been started with much fanfare and to cash on market demand have gone into hiding at the same speed. But our concern is about declining admissions and negative attitude of the educational institutions about humanities and social sciences. In the changing world Science, Technology or Finance may get more mileage. But the hard truth is that Humanities is the foundation for human living and remains relevant throughout our living and also have valuable applications and insights to contribute to real-life situations. In fact, when the arts and sciences are combined, they have been shown to produce even better results than they would have separately. Therefore, despite skepticism, I urge the institutions to continue the humanities courses without calculating their cost-benefit ratio. I urge faculty of these disciplines to make these courses more timely and relevant thereby make them attractive to the present generation.
Let us remember that there is no growth without change, no change without fear or loss and no loss without pain. Once we stop growing, we begin to wither. It is the reluctance and complacency of the faculty of these subjects to bring changes that is mainly responsible for the withering of the B.A. course. Hopefully things take a turn for the better for I deem that hope is a good thing and no good things ever die. As Gandhiji said – “let us be the change we wanted to see”.
Dr Norbert Lobo
President -AMUCT & Vice-President -AIFUCTO