Bengaluru City University has cut the remuneration for guest faculties by nearly 40% for the coming academic year, drawing the ire of guest faculty members. What has also caused consternation is that the university has now mandated even part-time guest faculty members to stay on the campus from 10 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. and mark biometric attendance, making it difficult for them to teach elsewhere.
The university was earlier paying ₹1,250 per hour for guest faculty who have passed the National Eligibility Test (NET), State Level Eligibility Test (SLET) or are Ph.D holders, which has now been slashed by nearly 40% to ₹780. Non-Ph.D holders and those who have not cleared NET were being paid ₹750 per hour, which has now been slashed by 10% to ₹680.
Every year, the university appoints guest faculty members in January, when most of them already teaching renew their contracts for another year. This year too, over 100 guest faculty members have been appointed to various departments after an application and interview process. However, many were in for a shock when they saw the remuneration was slashed. Not only that, many guest lecturers also saw their teaching hours also being slashed, which impacts their pay.
Several guest lecturers have opposed the move by the university. “The cut in remuneration is unethical. Not only is my remuneration cut by nearly 40%, my teaching hours have come down from 12 to 16 hours a week to nine hours a week,” a guest lecturer who also holds a Ph.D said. Another guest lecturer said teaching hours were cut for most of them and some were allocated only four hours a week, but everyone, even part-time guest faculty members are mandated to stay on the campus through the working hours. “This not only slashes our remuneration, but also makes it impossible to take up teaching at other colleges to sustain ourselves. How does the university expect us to survive the inflation?,” he questioned.
However, the university administration has defended the decision. “We have adopted the State government remuneration system for guest faculty members and this has been approved by the Syndicate. However, we will try to relax the rule that even part-time guest lecturers have to stay on the campus through the day,” said Lingaraja Gandhi, Vice-Chancellor, Bengaluru City University.
A senior university official said the pay cut was made to ensure there was no disparity between guest faculty members teaching more hours and those teaching fewer hours.
“According to UGC rules, a Ph.D holder guest faculty can earn a maximum of ₹49,920 and a non-Ph.D holder ₹43,520 a month. So even those who were teaching for more hours earned as much as those who taught fewer hours. We have now streamlined the payment system as per the norms,” the official said.