College teachers protest increased work hours

Degree college lecturers in the City went on a protest on Tuesday demanding the State government to roll back its decision on increasing the number of working hours.

More than 50 faculty members from St Joseph's College (Autonomous) staged the protest.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Chemistry Associate Professor Dr Michael Rajamathi said, “At the outset, the protest was not against the college. It was against the State government's decision to increase the number of working hours from the existing 16 hours to 22 hours per week.” As per UGC regulations, the lecturers are required to put in six hours per week for research.

However, observing that a majority of the lecturers are not contributing to research, the Department of Collegiate Education (DCE) issued a circular last year, asking colleges to convert these extra hours, meant for research, into teaching hours. While the circular in question was temporarily withdrawn after opposition from lecturers, the government has again issued a similar circular, Rajamathi added.

The colleges have now been asked to calculate the number of working hours and send it to the state government. “This is part of a State-wide protest against the decision. To teach these 16 hours, a preparation of at least 50 hours is required. This decision is unscientific.

The quality of higher education will come down if the government insists on this rule,” Rajamathi said. Lecturers and their associations across the State have criticised the circular.

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