Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 24:
A day before the second inter-ministerial committee meeting to address the concerns of block grant college lecturers, thousands of lecturers and other staff of 488-category block grant colleges of Odisha today held a massive demonstration at Lower PMG square of Bhubaneswar.
The demonstration was supported by various other teacher and lecturer bodies and civil society groups.
The lecturers, along with All Odisha 662 (+2 &+3) Non-Government Lecturers’ and Employees’ Association (AONGLEA), have been on a marathon demonstration at Lower PMG square for over two weeks. These employees, irrespective of their categories, are demanding abolition of block grant system and implementation of full Grant-In-Aid (GIA).
They have announced to boycott Plus Two and Plus Three examinations and answer paper evaluation if their demands are not met with.
“An inter-ministerial committee meeting chaired by the Finance Minister on February 15 failed to come up with a solution. Another meeting of the committee has been scheduled for tomorrow. We hope that instead of using divisive techniques, they will fulfil our demands,” said 488-category block grant college teachers and employees coordination committee general secretary Atal Bihari Bal.
“All of us would boycott the Plus Two and Plus Three examinations and answer paper evaluation if the meeting fails to come up with a solution. The government will be held responsible for any inconvenience caused to the students,” he added.
There are about 15,000 teachers and employees in the 662 and 488 aided colleges getting block grant aid.
Notably, about 8,000 members of AONGLEA yesterday took out a candle-lit march from Lower PMG to Ram Mandir praying for good sense to prevail on the part of the government.