Guest faculty upset, salaries 50% lower than in other states

The government is shortchanging guest lecturers when it comes to salaries, and has no interest in addressing their woes, an association representing them said on Wednesday.

“Every time we protest, the government asks us not to play with the future of the students, and we give in,” B Srinivasachar, president of the Karnataka State Government First Grade College Guest Lecturers’ Association, told DH. “But this time, we are firm.”

Many members have worked for 15 years, and given their best years to the profession, he said. “Our salaries are not even half of what our counterparts in other states get,” he said.

When R V Deshpande and T B Jayachandra were ministers of higher education, they had promised to form a committee headed by writer Baraguru Ramachandrappa to look into the problem, but nothing has moved, Srinivasachar said.

Karnataka has about 13,500 guest lectures, and in some cases, they put in longer hours than permanent faculty, who get salaries of up to Rs 1.5 lakh, he said. The chief minister should take up the problem immediately if he wants students not to suffer, Srinivasachar, who teaches political science, said.

“In 2003, in the S M Krishna regime, many guest lecturers were absorbed on the basis of their experience. They were also permitted to take up specialisation and higher studies. Why can’t this government follow that example?” he said.

Guest lecturers in Haryana, Gujarat, Kerala, Tripura, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh earn between Rs 22,000 and Rs 28,000, while those in Karnataka are paid between Rs 9,500 - 11,500 for similar work, Srinivasachar said.

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