TRICHY: While the state government is yet to adopt a decade-old guideline of university grants commission (UGC) to enhance the monthly honorarium of guest faculty members in arts and science colleges up to Rs 25,000, the commission has now doubled the honorarium in its new guidelines issued on Monday.
Though every state government has to adopt the guidelines, it has been remaining on paper. The guest faculty across the university-run constituent arts and science colleges and government arts colleges in the state get a mere Rs 15,000 as monthly salary. There are roughly 2,400 guest faculty in 41 constituent colleges and over 1,600 in government arts colleges. In fact, guest faculty members have outnumbered regular teachers in most of the constituent colleges, a trend that is picking up in government colleges as well.
However, their salary has been remaining the same for years. Guest faculty members say UGC has been issuing guidelines but not making their adoption mandatory and educational institutions have been conveniently avoiding it. “UGC being the funding agency to universities and state-run institutions, unless it makes adoption of guidelines mandatory for getting funds, real change cannot be realized,” says A Senthil Kumar, state general secretary, Tamil Nadu government constituent college guest lecturers’ association.
He raised concern at a UGC move allowing superannuated teachers to be hired as guest faculty up to 70 years. This would affect the prospects of existing guest faculty, he said. “We have been pleading for salary hike of several years now but our salary remains at Rs 15,000 a month,” said another guest faculty from a constituent college under Bharathidasan university. “Manonmaniam Sundaranar University has been paying Rs 20,000 a month to guest faculty in its constituent colleges.
But other state universities including Bharathidasan are refusing to do so,” he said. “We have been demanding UGC scale of pay for guest faculty for several years now, but the government has been remaining silent on the matter,” said the state vicepresident of Tamil Nadu Government College Teachers Association (TNGCTA), G Ramesh.