Polytechnic lecturers in Kerala allege pay disparity

After AICTE norms were implemented in 2013, seniority and qualification not getting their due in govt. colleges, they say

Lecturers in government polytechnic colleges in the State are bogged down by the anomalies in their pay structure after the implementation of All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) norms in 2013.

Those who have higher qualifications prescribed by the council were compulsorily shifted to the “AICTE scheme” and those without them were allowed to continue in the “State scale” then. A retired lecturer in a polytechnic college in Central Kerala told The Hindu that this led to serious disparities in their salaries. The pay structures of qualified lecturers with years of experience were fixed in the base-level band along with junior lecturers.

Difference of ₹30,000

“Some teachers who had only diploma in engineering enjoyed huge salary hikes and pension benefits when compared to teachers with higher degrees such as MTech and BTech,” he said. The difference in pay scale between the unqualified and qualified is in the range of ₹20,000 and ₹30,000. When they retire from service, their pension benefits are not in line with their experience and qualification.

Those who are part of the “State scheme” get a higher grade in salary and other benefits automatically after eight years, and then after 15 years in service even without a promotion. However, those in the “AICTE scheme” have to follow all the norms such as acquisition of more degrees and presentation of research papers with retrospective effect and wait for years to reach the grade. There is no government support for the lecturers’ quality improvement programme either. Quite often, a senior lecturer is found to have a similar pay structure as that of a junior lecturer.

For engg. colleges

The original AICTE norms for engineering colleges have grades such as lecturer, senior grade lecturer, and selection grade lecturer. Principals must take six hours of class a week and the appointment of heads of departments must be on a rotation basis. This was not implemented in polytechnic colleges and the provisions in the “State scheme” for elevation of lecturers as HoDs and principals were retained. It was pointed out that though there were anomalies in the implementation of the University Grants Commission norms in colleges and AICTE norms in engineering colleges, they were rectified later.

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