SALARY PANGS

Punjabi University guest faculty in dire straits

Punjabi University guest faculty in dire straits

Photo for representational purpose only

Sameer Singh

Tribune News Service

Bathinda, July 31

The guest faculty professors at constituent colleges and neighbourhood campuses of Punjabi University, Patiala, have been forced to live in penury as they haven’t been paid salaries for the past several months.

With hardly any financial resources or savings left, the faculty members are finding it tough to make ends meet.

The guest faculty professors are employed on a temporary basis twice a year from January to April and July to November at a minimum monthly salary of Rs 21,600. While a majority of the teachers haven’t been paid for the January-April period this year, some are awaiting dues even for July-November period last year.

There are around 130 guest teachers at the university’s 20 centres in the Malwa belt. Of the centres, 13 are constituent colleges, five neighbourhood campuses—one in Sangrur and two each in Mansa and Bathinda—and two regional centres (at Mohali and Bathinda).

“I have been borrowing from my brother and acquaintances for the past one year to pay hostel fee and bear other expenses,” says Rajvir Kaur of Ghudda in Bathinda. While non-payment of salaries has hit all guest faculty members, the fear of not being re-hired due to the pandemic has also been haunting them, says Jatinder Kaur, another teacher. “We too have been conducting online classes but unlike regular faculty, we aren’t paid,” she says.

Punjabi University Guest Teachers’ Association president Jaspal Singh maintains they have approached the authorities several times, but to no avail.

BS Ghuman, Vice-Chancellor, Punjabi University, and Dean (academic affairs) Gurdeep Singh Batra did not respond to repeated calls.

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