The Bold Voice of J&K

Exploitation of highly qualified under-employed youth intolerable: Harsh

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UntitledJKNPP holds protest in support of contractual teachers

JAMMU: Castigating the State Government for turning a deaf ear to the repeated representations of school, college and polytechnic lecturers for redressal of their genuine grievances, Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) activists staged a protest seeking their salary enhancement and regularisation of services.
A strong contingent of party activists along with scores of such lecturers spearheaded by Harsh Dev Singh, Chairman JKNPP and former Education Minister, gathered at Exhibition Ground, here and raised anti-government slogans.
Singh said that the fast swelling number of highly qualified educated unemployed youth in the State were treated like bonded labourers. 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 regretted that while the MLAs voted themselves a whopping salary of Rs. 1.60 lakh in the recently concluded session of the Legislative Assembly, none of them bothered to rake up the issue of these highly qualified who were being paid less than a Class-IV employee despite holding doctorate and even post doctorate degrees.
Seeking intervention of Chief Minister Mehabooba Mufti into the issue, Singh 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 had become defunct and staff deficient. He said that the highly callous approach of the government towards these educated youth had severely affected the academic activity. 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 and in contravention of the principle of “Equal pay for equal work” enshrined in Constitution of India. Others present were Rajesh Padgotra, Gagan Partap, Sham Gorkha, Nirmal Kishore, Vinod Kumar and Abhi Manyu Sharma.

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