Srinagar: Making fun of the unemployed youth, colleges in Kashmir are looking for lecturers at a remuneration three times lesser than what an average class IV employee in any government department is paid.

Polytechnic colleges in Kashmir have published advertisements in newspapers to hire lecturers for teaching Mechanical Engineering, Information Technology, Physics, French, Electronics and other technical subjects.

To utter dismay of the aspirants, the colleges will pay a meagre Rs 250 per lecture to those hired. Even worse, they have placed an upper bar of Rs 9,000 a month. It is even lesser than the minimum wages of Rs 400 for the unskilled labour in the Agriculture sector as per the revised rates.

The actual rates of honorarium of Guest Faculty in colleges and universities fixed by University Grants Commission is Rs 1500 per lecture subject to a maximum of Rs 50,000 per month.  

Several such advertisements including ones from polytechnic colleges in Bandipora and Ganderbal dotted Kashmir newspapers in the last few days.

One of the advertisements in a local daily

On top of it, the colleges are expecting qualified and competent candidates and as such have set up a selection criteria to hire the best of the lot.

Eighty (80) points have been kept for basic qualification and 10 points for higher qualification and experience on a pro-rata basis.

For instance, the eligibility criteria for a lecturer supposed to teach Mechanical Engineering, as per the advertisement by Government Polytechnic College Bandipora, is: Bachelors/Masters degree in concerned engineering discipline with 55% marks in appropriate branch from a recognized university or 3-year diploma with not less than 65% marks in appropriate branch of engineering. Preference will be given to higher qualification.

Abid Rashid, a Srinagar resident who has a B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering, told The Kashmir Monitor that the advertisement was an “embarrassment.”

“What am I going to do with Rs 250 per lecture for a position that is contractual and will last for only a few months. Shouldn’t I work as a brick labourer instead?” he said.

The advertisements also gathered a lot of flak on social media.

“Do not expect much when clerks are running the show,” read a comment from a Facebook user.

Another one quipped: “A labourer is paid Rs 600 a day with tea and bread twice a day.”

Principal, Government Polytechnic College, Ganderbal, Shafkat Yousuf, told The Kashmir Monitor that the rates were fixed by the Directorate of Higher Education and the college had nothing to do with it.

“Besides, the positions are only for a few months. We advertised them to ensure transparency,” she said adding “I agree it (remuneration) is very less but such is the state of unemployment that candidates do apply for it.”

No official from the Higher Education Department was available for comments. 

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About the Author

A journalist by chance with over five years of experience in reporting, editing, and bucketing local, national and international content for my current organization. I have covered education, health, politics, and human rights. I like working for a daily, though I occasionally try my pen in long-form to connect personal narratives with history.

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