They decry government rules capping number of teaching hours

Members of the Udupi District Guest Lecturers Association staged a dharna in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office here on Wednesday seeking regularisation of service and other demands.

Addressing the protesters, president of the association Ranjit Kumar Shetty said the 400-odd guest lecturers working in government degree colleges in Udupi district were getting a pittance as salary.

Until last year, a guest lecturer could work in two government degree colleges, work for 16 hours a week, and earn Rs. 16,000 a month. But from this academic year, the government has changed the rules and they are now allowed to serve only in one government degree college for eight hours a week and given a salary of only Rs. 8,000 a month, he said. When questioned about the change in the rules, the government had said that it wanted to create more employment opportunities for the youth, he said.

“We are not against creating employment opportunities for youth. But is it necessary to make the already employed persons half-employed?” he said.

UGC suggestion

Mr. Shetty said that the University Grants Commission had suggested that the guest lecturers should be given Rs. 500 per hour which would translate into at least Rs. 25,000 a month.

“But due to the new government norms, we are not getting even half of that amount. Is it possible to lead a life with a mere Rs. 8,000 a month in these days of high inflation?” he said.

Accusing the previous Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government of overlooking the problem of the guest lecturers, he urged the incumbent government to address the issue.