Minister for Higher Education R.V. Deshpande on Thursday told the Legislative Council that he would consider increasing the honorarium being paid to guest lecturers serving in government first grade colleges.

Replying to a call-attention notice tabled by Janata Dal (Secular) member Basavaraj Horatti and others, he said it was not possible to regularise their services due to legal problems, as the selection process was guided by various eligibility criteria, such as merit. He said such was the unemployment level among lecturers that nearly 34,000 candidates had applied when the government called for applications for appointment of guest lecturers last year. Of them, 10,400 candidates had been selected, he said.

Earlier, JD(S) member Puttanna pointed out that guest lecturers were getting a meagre monthly honorarium ranging from Rs. 8,000 to Rs. 10,000 though they had several years of experience. Minister for Municipal Administration Qamarul Islam told the Council that he would take appropriate measures to provide facilities and financial support to the workers who had been outsourced to manage funerals at the crematoriums and burial grounds coming under the jurisdiction of city corporations and municipalities. Earlier, Congress member Motamma drew the attention of the House to the plight of these workers, who are mostly from the oppressed communities.

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