Mumbai: The government-run Tata Institute of Fundamental Research paid only half the net salary for February to its staff citing fund crunch, but coughed up the remaining amount after the the cash paucity news went viral.
In a letter to the staff Wednesday, TIFR registrar Wing Commander (retd) George Antony said,"Due to insufficient funds, staff members and students and post-doctoral fellows of TIFR, its centres and field stations will be paid 50 per cent of the net salary for the month of February immediately."
"The remaining part of the salary will be paid when sufficient funds are available," the letter had said, adding deductions will be calculated on full salary as per rules.
After the news that a premier research institute in the country was facing fund shortage spread, the authorities, in an apparent fire-fighting exercise, deposited the remaining salary component of the staff in their bank accounts.
"The complete salary of all the employees of TIFR has been credited to their respective bank accounts. The issue has been solved now," Antony told PTI.
A former staffer said the pay cut decision had impacted the around 3,000 employees, students and post-doctoral fellows of TIFR in Mumbai and other centres.
Noted historian Ramachandra Guha said earlier Thursday that TIFR is in a perilous state. "The perilous financial state of one of India's finest scientific research institutes," he tweeted.
Another Twitter user said the government should explain why this (salary cut) happened. "If this is the condition of TIFR, then what will be the future of education in our country?" he said.
A tweet appeared to question the motive for shortage of funds to TIFR.
"There goes another piece of prime real estate. I suspect thats the real game going on - just like the cantonments. TIFR will be asked to move out. Magically, funds will reappear. In a more remote location." it said.
TIFR is a national centre of the Government of India under the umbrella of the Department of Atomic Energy, and a deemed university since 2002, awarding degrees for master's and doctoral programmes.
The institute was founded in 1945 with support from the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust under the vision of Dr Homi Bhabha.
It carries out basic research in physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, computer science and science education. The main campus is located in Mumbai, with centres at Pune, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.