Academic arrangement: Contractual lecturers protest, threaten hunger strike
Demand revocation of “Guest Faculty Order”, say it entails reduction in salaries
Srinagar, Feb 13 (KNO): Academic arrangement, contractual lecturers on Tuesday staged a protest in the premises of Amar Singh College in Srinagar against a “government order”, transitioning them to guest faculty roles.
The aggrieved lecturers, while speaking to the media as per the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) said that the order entails a drastic reduction in their salaries, slashing their monthly earnings from Rs 28,000 to a meagre Rs 13,000 or Rs 14,000.
The protesting lecturers highlighted that the decision was injustice and disparity between the treatment of lecturers in Jammu and Kashmir when compared to other states.
“The UGC guidelines mandate fair treatment even under contractual arrangements, Kashmir stands as the sole exception,” said a lecturer.
They lamented the lack of recognition for their experience; and added that their plight stands further aggravated by the lack of recognition for their experience, as the certificates issued to them hold no value beyond the current arrangement.
According to protesting lecturers, over 2,000 lecturers are serving in various colleges across Kashmir on these precarious terms.
Expressing their grievances, a lecturer Aftab Ahmad while sharing the personal struggle of sustaining a family highlighted the distressing reality faced by many in similar circumstances on “meagre earnings.”
“I have to pay a room rent of Rs 10,000 every month. I have family and kids with me. The discrepancy in pay scales between different regions further compounds the frustration,” he said.
The protesting lecturers said that their demands are not merely for personal gain, but for the betterment of higher education in Kashmir.
They urged the need for transparency in the recruitment process and the immediate filling of the thousands of vacant positions across colleges in the region.
The lecturers warned of hunger strikes, if their grievances are not addressed promptly, underscoring the urgent need for the government to address their demands, including reinstatement with proper designation and commensurate pay aligned with UGC guidelines.
They urged upon the authorities to heed their plea for fair treatment and dignified living conditions, stressing that failure to do so would only deepen the sense of disillusionment among the educated youth of Kashmir—(KNO)