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Guest lecturers’ fate hangs in balance

Uncertainly looms over continuation of services of guest lecturers at Tilka Manjhi Bhagalpur University after authorities flip-flopped on their decisions in back-to-back meetings on Wednesday and Thursday.

On Wednesday, in the meeting of the academic council, it was decided that services of guest lecturers would be discontinued owing to the university’s funds crunch. However, the next day, the registrar said they had not reached any decision concerning the matter.

The varsity had assigned around 200 guest lecturers to fill up vacant posts in different constituent colleges as well as some postgraduate departments, which were facing a crunch of teachers. The education department had approved the proposal of appointing guest lecturers on the condition that TMBU would have to meet the salary expenditure from its internal resources. According to provisions, a guest lecturer could take a maximum of two classes per day and Rs 250 had been allotted for each class as remuneration. However, on November 20, the university, in the meeting of the academic council, decided to discontinue the services of the guest lecturers owing to funds crunch.

Nilambuj Kishore Verma, the vice-chancellor of Tilka Manjhi Bhagalpur University (TMBU), admitted to the prevailing funds crunch.

On November 21, Tahir Hussein Warsi, the TMBU registrar, said the services of the guest lecturers would not be discontinued and all of them would work as usual in their respected colleges and postgraduate departments. “In the meeting of the academic council, the decision of discontinuation of the services of the guest lecturers was taken but the process of the notification would not be complete until I sign on it,” he said.

Warsi said he would call on the education department principal secretary aon November 23 and request them to help TMBU in arranging for funds to pay the salaries of the guest lecturers.

However, sources said the varsity was compelled to take the decision owing to the step-motherly attitude of the state government. According to sources, the education department had asked the university to arrange funds from its internal resources, while some other varsities in the state have the privilege to divert funds to incur expenditure for salaries of guest lecturers.

Anand Azad, the president of the association of guest lecturers at TMBU, urged the government to continue their services. “Students would suffer if services of guest lecturers are discontinued as all the colleges face shortage of regular teachers,” Azad said.

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