'We didn't want to jeopardise students' future'

'We didn't want to jeopardise students' future'

A firm stand by the government, and requests by students and their parents made the PU lecturers blink first and withdraw their protests on Tuesday.

A H Ningegowda, general secretary, Karnataka State PU Lecturer’s Association said that there was a general feeling among lecturers that they did not want to be the villains, robbing students of their future.

“We did not want to be seen as people who are only after money and salaries,” he said. He further added that a number of students and their parents had visited the lecturers and asked them to withdraw their protests.

The government’s stand is, however, slightly different. A senior official said that the association had “thoroughly misinterpreted” the G Kumar Naik Committee report and many of its recommendations on lecturers’ salaries.

“Some of the benefits they talked about are not even mentioned in the report. The association had misunderstood the report and the recommendations made therein. I would like to believe that they realised their mistake and withdrawn the protest. Better sense prevailed,” said the official.

When asked if it was the pressure built up by the government by issuing notifications and making an ‘alternative arrangement’ that did the associaton in, the official said, “The government has a responsibility that they are supposed to perform. It has to find another instrument if things do not work out in the set direction.”

On Tuesday, the agitating lecturers ended their 17-day-old protest without giving any reason while rejecting the one increment offered by the government.

One increment is fine

The PU lecturers’ association might have withdrawn their protest and made a call to reject the one hard fought increment offered by the government, but PU lecturers, however, are not in the mood to give up the money easily.

A principal of a government college in Kolar said: “I have been working for the past 28 years. When I started, my salary was on par with a tahsildar and the government engineers. Now, there is a huge disparity. The one increment that we got has come in writing and has been issued as a government order. I do not think one can withdraw it so easily.”

 A lecturer of a government college from Gauribidnaur said that he is quite happy with the an increment as it would mean an additional income.

The lecturer further explained that the one-time increment would mean Rs 600 for a new lecturer, around Rs 1,000 for a senior lecturer and Rs 1,200 for a principal. “This is quite a good amount,” he said.

Discontent continues

The office-bearers of the Karnataka State PU Lecturers’ Association, however, submitted a letter to the Department of Pre-University Education making their rejection formal. “We submitted the letter on Wednesday and are firm on our decision to reject the increment,” Ningegowda, general secretary of the association said.

An official said that the ball is in the lecturers’ court whether or not to accept the increment. “It is left to individuals. We cannot prevent anyone from not taking the benefit.”

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