Bengaluru: Unaided engg college teachers fear losing jobs

BENGALURU: With the All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) directive coming into force, thousands of engineering teachers from unaided colleges are facing an uncertain future as many have already been laid off, while several others face a similar fate.

Demanding that the government should intervene, the All-India Private College Employees’ Union (AIPCEU) has written to the Karnataka Fee Regulatory Committee (KFRC) and the Admission Overseeing Committee to address the issues. The Union stated that with the private college managements implementing the decision, over 7,000 qualified and experienced lecturers will lose jobs and that it will affect the academic output as well. Union founder K.M. Karthik said that almost 3,500 lecturers have already lost their jobs across the state since the beginning of this academic year. 

In June, AICTE approved a teacher-student ratio of 1:20, which was 1:15 till then, citing declining admissions. “College managements are taking undue advantage of the new ratio to downsize faculty to maximise their profits. Lecturers are being laid off without prior notice or any justification and this is completely unjust,” he said. He pointed out that there is no job security for over 28,000 lecturers serving in 182 unaided engineering colleges across the state.

Further alleging private managements of eyeing larger profits, Mr Karthik said that the institutions included these faculty members to show big numbers to claim they had increased expenses to run each course, misinforming the KFRC. “A fee hike of 8% was allowed by the state government only after such details, which were never authenticated, was handed over to the KFRC by the managements. While many on the payrolls submitted then have lost jobs now, the fee hike granted to them is just another avenue to earn more profits,” he said.

A teaching faculty from a private engineering college who was asked to resign in July this year alleged that her termination letter failed to cite any reason. 
“Though we were up to the mark in academics and in contributing through research, four of us were asked to resign in a matter of 10 days. One among us even had more than five years of industry experience, but that had no value when the action was taken,” the lecturer said. 

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