Guest lecturers in government arts and science colleges have urged the government to effect a pay revision in time before the election code of conduct takes effect.
The guest lecturers are being paid a measly sum of ₹15,000 as consolidated salary every month. Even this meagre salary is not paid during May and June, despite the University Grants Commission taking a stand that a teacher in this category is entitled to ₹ 1,500 per lecture, to a maximum of ₹50,000 a month.
In a letter to the Registrars of all universities during 2019, the University Grants Commission (UGC) had issued instructions for increasing honorarium for Guest Faculty to that effect. The UGC had considered the increase in salary consequent upon the implementation of the recommendations of the seventh pay commission.
Prior to that the honorarium advocated by the UGC was ₹1,000 per month subject to a maximum of ₹25,000 per month. The reasoning of the UGC was that the guest faculty are being appointed only against the sanctioned posts, and that the selection procedure for appointing guest faculty was the same as those appointed on time scale as Assistant Professors.
“The guest lecturers fully deserve a revision in salary as their work load is, at times, even more than the teachers under time scale payment,” P. David Livingston, Zonal Secretary of Tamil Nadu Government College Teachers’ Association, said. Most of the guest lecturers do hold the qualification of a pass in the eligibility test and doctorate degree, he said.
Appreciating the latest move by the Department of Higher Education to regularise services of 1,000 guest lecturers in government arts and science colleges, the State president of Tamil Nadu UGC Qualified Guest Lecturers V. Thangaraj said Tamil Nadu ought to emulate other States that have complied with UGC’s instruction on revision of the salary of guest lecturers.
Guest lecturers deserve priority in service regularisation since their services for several years under the minimal consolidated pay have resulted in substantial monetary gain for the State Government, Mr. Thangaraj said.