Published: 14th October 2020
Made to wait for months without appointment letters, 400 teachers in Karnataka protest for over 24 hours at DPUE complex
The government of Karnataka called for applications in 2014 and conducted exams in 2018. The results were declared only last year for 1,203 vacant post of lecturers in PU colleges
It has been more than 24 hours since nearly 400 shortlisted candidates for the post of PU College lecturers began protesting in front of Department Of Pre-University Education for not giving them an appointment letter to join the duty. According to the Karnataka Pre-University Lecturers Association, nearly 1,203 posts are vacant for the post of college lecturers across the state. But the government has been delaying the appointment of college lecturers for various reasons. Hence, they are out on the street in protest and will continue to do so until Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa responds to them.
Avinash, who is from Hassan, is one of the shortlisted candidates who is part of this protest. He explains, "The state government called for PU lecturers to apply in 2014 and many people across the state applied for it. However, consecutive state governments did not hold the exam citing a bunch of reasons. We would protest again and again to have the exams conducted exams but nothing happened. Finally, in 2018, the Government of Karnataka conducted exams and released the final list of shortlisted candidates in October 2019. A few months ago, our counselling happened and we were also told about the college that we need to join. However, again the government has delayed the process of giving appointment letter to most of us. They cited the pandemic as the reason and we also waited with patience. When we asked them for further details, they told us about there was a lack of funds in the state government's treasury. Now, they are saying that the code of conduct for elections will be in effect."
The two-year wait has really pushed the teachers to breaking point. Avinash further adds, "There is an age limit to write these government exams. Most of these lecturers will turn 50 and might retire before they get a government order in their hand. A lot of people here were government school teachers but soon after their higher education, they wrote the Pre-University Lecturers' exam and continue to wait like others."
In fact, some of these candidates were actually working with private colleges in different parts of Karnataka. However, once their names were shortlisted, the managements asked them to quit as it would cause continuity issues if these lecturers left in the middle of academic year. Avinash, says, "A lot of people were even asked to quit when the private colleges weren't able to pay them salaries due to the pandemic. The current state government might say that our protest is sponsored by a particular national or regional party. But we have not come on behalf of any party. It is a voluntary participation by the candidates and we are only demanding our rights."