Exploitation of faculties rampant in many colleges – The Times of India 22-07-2013

MADURAI: For Manikandan, a 30-year-old assistant professor in an arts and science college in Madurai city limits, identifying himself as one may attract respect in the society, but it certainly has not helped him gain respect in his own home. As a faculty in the Tamil department, he earns only Rs 6,000 a month even after working in the same institution for two years. The salary is just enough to look after himself. The man is now shrouded with inferiority complex and feels remorseful for choosing the teaching field.

"I am much better when compared to some of my friends who work in colleges in rural areas where they are paid even lesser salary than me. Not only Tamil faculty, but also faculties from all the streams do get meagre salary although they are fully qualified," says Manikandan, who has completed M.Phil in Tamil.

Representatives of faculty associations say the meagre wages for faculties in self-financing colleges and self-financing courses in aided colleges is a common phenomenon. Even constituent colleges run by universities pay only Rs 10, 000 for fully qualified faculties.

There are some rural colleges in Madurai district which pay as low as Rs 2,000 to 3,000 to their faculty. Shockingly, some colleges reportedly do not pay anything to them. They would ask them to work for simply gaining experience. There are about 40 arts and science colleges in Madurai. The situation is similar to all the inexperienced faculties in all the colleges except a handful of institutions, they say.

S Vivekanandan, president, Madurai Kamaraj, Manonmaniam Sundaranar, Mother Teresa and Alagappa University Teachers' Association (MUTA) said, "Self-financing colleges paying Rs 2,000 to 4,000 to their faculties is so common. Even qualified faculties who have completed their PhD are paid poorly."

N Thenpandian, joint general secretary of MUTA said that the faculties are not even provided with proper service conditions. They are not given any casual or maternity leave. They have to work without any leave to get the meagre salary. The exploitation has become inevitable in the teaching field as they are forced to work without any rest in between. Self-financing colleges do have good revenue, as there is good demand for courses like B.Com, BBA and computer science courses, but it is the outcome of sheer exploitation. Although the association has been fighting with authorities of the universities and managements of self-financing colleges, these problems have been hard nut to crack, he said.