14,000+ Government College Guest Lecturers in Karnataka are Underpaid and Ignored
Guest Lecturers in Karnataka Protesting for their Rights
Injustice done with Guest Lecturers over last Few Years
Even Though The UGC had given the Guidelines dated 1.1.2010 that the Guest/Part-time Teachers who possess the minimum qualification for the post of an Assistant Professor should be paid Rs.1,000/- per lecture to a maximum of Rs.25,000/- per month. But some states like Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have failed to implement this even after 7 years.
The current scenario in Karnataka is that there are 14,451 Guest Lecturers working in 400+ Government First Grade Colleges of the state. These lecturers get paid only Rs. 11,000-/- per month and are not paid during the summer vacations for 2 months. Their condition is now considered to be worse than the bonded labours because of the fact that they are being paid less than labours, they have no job security and are constantly being taken for granted by the Government.
Most of these Guest Faculties are highly qualified (M.Sc, M.A, M.Phil, Ph.D) and have cleared eligibility examinations like UGC NET. Yet due to negligence of the Government, they are living a miserable life. They are unable to change their profession also because most of them have crossed the maximum age limit for other government jobs. There have been hunger strikes, rallies but nothing worked.
The Siddaramaiah led Congress Government of Karnataka has been constantly ignoring the UGC guidelines for Honorarium of Guest Lecturers and has failed to do justice with its own Teachers who are responsible for educating 5 lakh students in the state. With elections just on head in 2018, there is some hope that these lecturers will get what they deserve.
Demands of the Guest Lecturers in Karnataka
There demands are not so high that the government can not fulfill it. The major highlights of their demands are as follows:-
- The government has to regularize the services of 14,531 guest lecturers working at various government colleges.
- Till the process of regularization is not completed, the govt.has to give a fixed salary of Rs. 25,000 per month.
- The authorities have to cancel the proposal to recruit lecturers through CET.
- The government has to sanction three months maternity leave for lady lecturers.
The issues that I could figure out are as follows:
- As per the UGC Guidelines for Appointment of Guest Teacher (No. F. 10-1/2009 (PS)) dated 1.1.2010, each Guest Faculty should receive Rs. 1000-/- per lecture (maximum 25,000 per month). But unfortunately even after 7 years, it has not been implemented in the state of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
- The Guest faculties residing in big cities where there are plenty of colleges are able to get another job in some other colleges as part time faculty. But most of these first degree govt. colleges are in remote location, so these guest lecturers are unable to find other employment opportunities in nearby locations and hence are forced to survive with just Rs. 11,000 per month.
- They all are Ph.D or M.Phil qualified and thus they cross the maximum age limit for other Govt. Jobs, hence they are bound to live a miserable life as a guest faculty in a Govt. College.
- The subjects that they teach, like chemistry, history, arts etc doesn't attract any student to take private tutions, again hampering their earning ability.
- Rs. 11,000 is too less to survive with a family of atleast 3 members. (And there is 2 months of unemployment also every year) Till last few years, one could have managed with Rs. 11,000 but with the kind of inflation that we have seen in past few years, it is impossible to survive in just Rs. 11,000.
- Even 10th and 12th passed candidates are getting 20,000-25,000 in government jobs, then why can't these Highly Qualified Teacher get proper remuneration?
Solutions that I could figure out till now are as follows:
- Their demands are not very high, they just need 20,000-25,000 per month to live a respectable life and make their children a better citizen of India.
- They are highly qualified and can be deployed in government projects related to education sector like localization of Study Materials on web portals.
- They should get a relaxation on maximum age in government jobs if they wish to change their profession.
- There are plenty of EduTech companies like BYJU, Toppr, Chegg, Youth4work, Testbook who constantly look for Subject Matter Experts as freelancers where these Guest Lecturers can provide quality study materials and earn a good amount of money.
Hope for Changes
Our country is already plagued with the suicides of Farmers and Poors and if Teachers will also be forced to go on to this path then nobody will be willing to become a teacher in near future. Let's hope that this issue gets sorted out as soon as possible. As of now, if you want to support these Lecturers then I request you to sign the petition for their fight for justice. The link for Petition can be found below.