Ongoing strikes hit Kerala Agricultural University's operation

Thrissur: The Kerala Agricultural University has been facing a major crisis due to the recurring strikes amid its setback in ranking, growth and revenue generation. The functioning of the office has been completely stalled due to the strikes led by the CPM service unions for over a month.

The strike has been proceeding since October 11 under Kerala Agricultural Association, a union of CPM-affiliated service organisations, demanding to withdraw the demotion transfer order of KAU general secretary CV Denny. Disciplinary action was taken against CV Denny over his social media post defaming MP Ramya Haridas on June 14, 2021.

Meanwhile, conflicts between unions under CPM and CPI have deepened in the university. The CPM-affiliated organisation had accused Vice-Chancellor R Chandrababu of taking decisions favourable to CPI-led unions.

The inflow of employees for the protest against the registrar’s office has impeded the administration of the university. The daily activities were also hindered when the protesters restrained taking files to the registrar’s office. The ongoing protests have affected the operations of farms, which are the major source of income in the agricultural university.

Major setbacks of KAU

  • 28th position in ranking of the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR)
  • The revenue generation dropped to Rs 13 crore from Rs 23 crore
  • Only 56 employees in the farm officer post with 241 vacancies
  • Only 1 employee in the technical wing with 21 overseer posts
  • All 19 assistant engineer posts remain vacant
  • Rs 35 crore is required to dispense salaries of 333 clerical staff, 133 section officers, 18 assistant registrars and 11 joint deputy registrars.
  • The ICAR development grant which was Rs 8 cr in 2017-18 has been reduced to Rs 1.35 crore.
  • Even after functioning for half a century, the university could obtain only a B grade from the National Agriculture Education Accreditation Board (NAEAB).

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