Massive protest against exploitation of contractual lecturers

Lambasting the state govt for turning a deaf ear to the repeated representations of School, College and Polytechnic lecturers for redressal of their genuine grievances, a strong contingent of Panther Party activists along with scores of such lecturers spearheaded by Harsh Dev Singh Chairman JKNPP staged a massive demonstration seeking their salary enhancement and regularisation of services.
Dubbing the exploitation of educated and other unemployed youth of the state as worst form of human rights violation, he said that the fast swelling number of highly qualified educated unemployed youth in the State were treated like bonded laborers.
He said that under employment and unemployment problem were homologous which has been a root cause of simmering unrest and embitterment among the youth. He added that it could explode any moment like a catastrophe and cause irreparable damages. Expressing solidarity with the cause of the College, School and Polytechnic lecturers engaged on contract / academic arrangement basis and who included PhDs, M Phils, Double post graduates etc., he regretted that such highly qualified youth were being paid Rs 7,000/- per month in Higher Secondary schools and Polytechnics where as Rs 8,000/- in colleges which had not been revised for the last more than 12 years. He said that not only their honorarium was grossly meager but also quantum of work assigned to them called for second thought and a thorough review.
He advocated for enhancement in the honorarium of all such the contractual/ academic arrangement lecturers who were being made to work for paltry salary as against around Rs 45,000/- being paid to a regular lecturer and demanded hike in the emoluments to at least Rs 20,000/- as the existing rates had not been revised since 2004. He said that several lecturers engaged on academic arrangement in hilly and remote areas had shown reluctance to join services in view of negligible emoluments offered to them with the result that the majority of educational institutions including Schools, Colleges and Polytechnics had become defunct and staff deficient. He said that the highly callous and non chalan approach of the govt. towards the miseries of these highly educated youth had severely affected the academic activity to chaos marred by day to day strike by students and public in such areas. He maintained that all contractual and academic arrangement lecturers are performing the same job as their regular compeers but the huge discrepancy in their emoluments was unjustified, unconstitutional, and illegal and in contravention of the principle of “Equal pay for equal work” enshrined in constitution of India. Lambasting the discriminatory exclusion of the said category of employees from the purview of Special Provisions Act 2010, Singh regretted that while adhoc, contractual, consolidated and other temporary employees engaged in various state govt Deptts were regularised after a period of seven years, these lecturers were arbitrarily ignored despite their altruistic services in the field of education.
He exhorted the State govt to include these lecturers in the ambit of the said Act to pave way for their regularisation of services.
He said that Panthers Party shall stand toe to toe, shoulder to shoulder with the aggrieved lecturers in their struggle and shall not relent unless the aggrieved teaching fraternity was ensured justice with dignity and honor.

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