University failing to give even the monthly pay of Rs.10,000 on time

Guest lecturers in constituent colleges of Bharathidasan University (BDU) are reportedly peeved over the inability of Aided College Teachers’ Association (ACTA) to prevail upon the university authorities to fulfil their basic demands for timely payment of monthly salary and facilitation for pursuing Ph.D.

The nearly 300 guest lecturers in seven constituent and two model colleges are yet to be paid their salaries for the month of August, it is learnt. It is already week-end, and it is certain to take a few more days for them to receive their salaries. Though the guest lecturers have been rendering their services unfailingly in the interests of higher educational development of rural youth, mostly first-generation graduates, the university has been regularly failing to pay in time even the pittance of the monthly pay of Rs.10,000 (Rs.12,000 for Ph.D. holders).

“Each month, one reason or the other is attributed. Last month, we were told that the delay was caused as a clerk had gone on a lengthy leave. This time, the delay is attributed to the continual absence of a section officer,” complained a guest lecturer in one of the constituent colleges. “The guest lecturers deserve a respectable treatment for fulfilling their responsibilities as hard-working professionals. The situation caused by administrative lapse is shameful,” university professors say.

After showing promise by taking up the case of the guest lecturers with the university, by asking for the status of Assistant Professor, leave salary and other benefits, the conviction of the ACTA has seemingly eroded in subsequent months. The guest lecturers are now a demoralised lot. It was with high hopes that the guest lecturers enrolled themselves with the association believing that it will function as an effective forum for their welfare.

In fact, output of guest lecturers is as much or even better than that of the regular staff receiving time-scale pay. Funds availability is not the issue. The university had already announced that it has a cash reserve exceeding Rs.300 crore. An administrative official said that introduction of Electronic Clearing System for salary payment was not at all a difficult task.

The will power or intention of the university to exercise autonomy is what matters the most , the guest lecturers emphasise, citing the lead taken by other universities in Tamil Nadu, including Madras and Madurai Kamaraj Universities, for betterment of the career of guest lecturers.