The All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) has directed private engineering colleges and other technical institutions to pay salaries to their faculty and staff on time during the COVID-19 lockdown.
The directive by the technical education regulator comes after it received complaints about certain institutions not paying salaries for even the months of February and March.
“We have been receiving complaints that some of the institutions have not paid the salary to teaching and non-teaching staff for the month of March and in some cases even February. Kindly note that this is a national emergency as whole country is under lockdown due to COVID-19 and non-payment of salaries to staff will lead to great stress and even starvation of families,” AICTE Chairman Anil Sahasrabudhe said in a letter to all approved colleges.
“You are requested to ensure that faculty members and staff are paid salaries on time,” he added.
Universities and schools across the country have been closed since March 16 when the central government announced a countrywide classroom shutdown as one of the measures to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.
Later, a nationwide lockdown was announced on March 24, which was extended till May 17.
The AICTE had last month warned engineering colleges and other technical institutions against forcing students to pay fees and non payment of salaries to staff during the lockdown and directed withdrawal of any terminations made during the period.
The warning came following complaints to the HRD Ministry’s technical education regulator about colleges insisting on fees, not paying salaries and terminating staff during lockdown.
“It has come to knowledge of AICTE that certain stand alone institutions are insisting that students should pay the fees, including admission fees, during the lockdown.
“It is clarified that colleges and institutions should not insist on payment of fees till the ongoing lockdown is lifted and normalcy is restored,” AICTE, Member secretary, Rajiv Kumar had said in an advisory to colleges.