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Govt seeks details of guest lecturers, pay revision likely

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The state government has sought details of the number of qualified guest lecturers appointed in government arts and science colleges across the state.
The move by the director of collegiate education is seen as part of an attempt to increase the pay scale of these teachers according to the guidelines prescribed by University Grants Commission. It is also anticipated that the government may increase the number of guest lecturers considering shortage of teaching faculty.
There are a total 1,663 guest lecturers across 91 arts and science colleges in the state who are hired for 10 months a year on a consolidated monthly pay of Rs 15,000. The concept of contractual lecturer was introduced in government arts colleges in the early nineties. This was to meet the increasing shortage of teaching staff as appointments were deferred for a long period in the state-run arts and science colleges.
The contractual lecturers appointed before 1995 were absorbed in government service following judicial intervention. "But the state government changed the nomenclature by bringing the concept of guest lecturers. This had prevented temporary teaching faculty from claiming permanent jobs," said the state joint secretary of Tamil Nadu Government College Teachers Association (TNGCTA), B Ramesh.

"There are many teachers who have been working as guest lecturers for over two decades now. But their monthly salary adds up merely to what the permanent teaching staff earn in three days," he said.
"As per UGC guidelines a qualified guest lecturer is entitled to a remuneration of Rs 25,000 per month but the demand has been ignored all these years. This is nothing but intellectual exploitation that too by the government which should be an ideal employer," said a guest lecturer from Trichy.
Apart from being not eligible for vacation pay, women guest lecturers are not entitled to maternity leave also, said the guest lecturer. While the state government has decided on the number of guest faculty to be appointed, it has not increased the numbers over the past few years despite shortage of teaching faculty.
"We expect the government to take a call on the appointment of an additional 498 guest faculty to the 1,663 existing faculty," said Ramesh.

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