14,000 agitating guest lecturers may lose job

14,000 agitating guest lecturers may lose job

Nearly 14,000 guest lecturers in government first grade colleges, who were on strike for over a month, stare at a blank future as the Higher Education Department has not only initiated process to hire fresh candidates in their place but also directed the colleges not to consider the agitating members for employment.

Stating that their agitation has affected the academics and caused hardship to students ahead of semester exams, the department on February 12 issued directions to the Department of Collegiate Education (DCE) to start fresh recruitments. In turn, the DCE has asked all its regional directors to start the recruitment process and submit an action taken report by Monday (February 15).The Higher Education Department’s letter notes that students have been “severely inconvenienced” as a result of the agitation, especially with the semester exams nearing. “Such teachers should not be taken back and alternative arrangements should be made,” reads the letter.

A subsequent communication by S V Giriyappa, In-charge Director, DCE, to the regional directors of DCE in Bengaluru, Mysuru, Kalaburagi, Mangaluru, Shivamogga and Dharwad on the same day, highlighted steps to be taken in compliance with the government’s orders.   Lecturers should be recruited from the pending list of candidates that was complied by each college during the online recruitment process of guest lecturers. If there is no pending list with the college, one can be obtained from a neighbouring college. Any other eligible candidate can also be recruited locally. Besides, any college having more than one section of a particular subject should merge all such sections, said the DCE letter.

The protesting lecturers have been mainly demanding an increase in the salaries, its timely payment and regularisation of their services.

Many meetings have taken place with government in the past one year and nothing has materialised. Thus, the lecturers are on an indefinite strike since January.

Rudresh K M, a guest lecturer from Davangere, said many lecturers who returned to their respective colleges to join work following the government order were not allowed to do so. “It is a constitutional right to protest against injustice and the government cannot stop us with such measures.” he remarked.

Deccan Herald’s repeated attempts to contact Higher Education Minister T B Jayachadra and Additional Chief Secretary (Higher Education) Bharat Lal Meena went in vain. 

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