Guest lecturers look for UGC’s intervention for salary enhancement as per latest guidelines

The Tamil Nadu All Government Colleges UGC Qualified Guest Lecturers Association is looking for the intervention of the University Grants Commission for revision of their monthly salary as per the latest guidelines based on the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations, in the apparent absence of compliance by the Higher Education Department.

The association is disappointed with the stand taken by the State Higher Education Department in the High Court earlier this week, in response to the writ petition filed in the High Court for pay revision.

The Director of Collegiate Education had, in his reply, stated that the guest lecturers were bound by the orders of the State Government, and that the onus was on the UGC to pay the revised salary structure. "We earnestly hope that the UGC will come to our rescue," president of the association V. Thangaraj said.

In the writ petition, Mr. Thangaraj had stated that the State Government had not complied with the UGC's guidelines on payment of honorarium for guest lecturers from time to time.

The UGC had, during 2010, directed all State Education Secretaries and all its Regional Offices to pay Rs. 1,000 per lecture to a maximum of Rs. 25,000/- per month to the Guest/Part-time Teachers who possesses the minimum qualification to the post of an Assistant Professor.

In 2019, the UGC had revised the guideline for enhancement of the rates of honorarium to the guest faculty who possess the qualification as prescribed in UGC Regulations for the regular Assistant Professors and enhanced the rate to Rs. 1500/- per lecture subject to a maximum of Rs. 50,000/- per month. The said rate was fixed after accepting the recommendation of 7th Pay Commission.

However, the government continued to pay only Rs. 15,000 per month until January 1, 2020, wherafter the salary was increased to Rs. 20,000 per month.

The standpoint of the association is that its members possess necessary qualififcations of Assistant Professors as prescribed in the regulations, and also that the guest lecturers in other States were being paid well in compliance with the UGC guidelines.

"The discrimination is a clear violation of Article 14 of the Constitution of India," that specifies equality and equal protection of the laws across India, Mr. Thangaraj said.

Guest lecturers are performing the same duties and responsibilities as regular lecturers, and the principle of 'equal pay for equal work' has to be inevitably applied, Mr. Thangaraj said, exuding confidence of an eventual positive outcome.

The association's hope, he said, stems from the interim order of the Madras High Court delivered on January 24, 2019. A Division Bench had said: “......that majority of the teaching faculty are Guest Lecturers and they are paid only a sum of Rs. 15,000/- per month as salary. This court is aware that even the salary paid to an Office Assistant is Rs. 17,000/- per month. That being so, in the interest of students as well as in the interest of faculty members, Rs. 15,000/- being paid by the Government should be increased and this Court deems it reasonable to direct the Government, as an interim measure, to pay a sum of Rs. 30,000/- per month to each Guest lecturer, positively, with effect from 1st February, 2019 onwards”

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Printable version | Jul 8, 2022 7:18:03 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/tiruchi/article65616614.ece