For around 9,000 posts of guest lecturers in government degree colleges in the State, the government has received 34,700 applications, which shows the level of unemployment among those with post-graduation degrees, said Minister for Higher Education and Tourism R.V. Deshpande here on Sunday.

Though the Minister elaborated the steps taken by the government to streamline the process of recruitment, guest lecturers who submitted a memorandum to him here on Sunday expressed dissatisfaction at the “meagre” assurances given.

After visiting the district Congress office, Mr. Deshpande told presspersons that the recently-initiated online system of recruitment for guest lecturer posts in government colleges had replaced the ad hoc method of lecturer selection employed before. “This is completely transparent, and no MLA or Minister can pressure selection,” he said.

He also believed that with appointments being completed before July 31, guest lecturers would be present during the time of college admission, till the end of the semester. The issue of irregular payments would be sorted out this year, he said. “As soon as the budget is passed, the government will clear Rs. 58 crore of reimbursement for guest lecturers,” the Minister said.

Though commending the online system, Nagaraj M., president of the Guest Lecturers’ Association, Mangalore, said that the appointments were still being done much after the start of colleges under Mangalore University.

“For every permanent member of the staff, there are five guest lecturers. Government colleges function because of guest lecturers. Colleges under Mangalore University start around June 15, whereas guest lecturers are appointed only by August. Many colleges have had to cancel classes and the students suffer,” he said.

Another major issue, Mr. Nagaraj said, was that on June 14 this year, the government sent out a circular prohibiting a guest lecturer from taking classes in more than one college. “How can they restrict us without increasing our salary (Rs. 8,000)? We are post-graduate degree holders, with loans to pay off and families to look after. Either they should allow us to teach at multiple colleges or increase our salary. As the circular was sent late, many didn’t even have a chance to apply to private colleges,” he said.

The association said that backlog remunerations for more than three months of teaching in the last academic year had still not been paid to them.