Mangalore: University College suspends whistle blower guest lecturer

Mangalore: University College suspends whistle blower guest lecturer

Naveen Gurpur
Daijiworld Media Network - Mangalore

Mangalore, Dec 23: In what appears to be a gross case of highhandedness by powers-that-be, whistle blower and founder teaching staff of Mangalore University College Dr Ishwar Gowda M Patil was suspended from service recently, after he questioned certain discrepancies and for raising his voice against the system of ‘treating’ guest lecturers.

Dr Patil had been serving the department of journalism, University College, Hampankatta, (a constituent college of Mangalore University), since its inception in 2006. Recently, several English and Kannada newspapers had highlighted the lack of facilities for students and the ‘treatment’ of guest lecturers on various issues. “When these issues were leaked to the media, I was suspended from service and held responsible for the media coverage,” he says.

Promised salary hike

Earlier, 44-year-old Dr Patil also led a campaign seeking a rise in salary for the guest lecturers which Mangalore University vice-chancellor had agreed to in the press meet. Media reports stated that the guest lecturers at Mangalore University would henceforth get a minimum salary of Rs 15,000 and those who have obtained minimum University Grants Commission norms for lectureship would get a monthly salary of Rs 20,000. However, all the 45 guest lecturers of University College, of which 40 are women, receive a maximum monthly salary of Rs 12,000. The salary is calculated based on the amount of classes taken in a month which comes to Rs 235 per hour.

Besides, the lecturers had also urged that the salary be paid within 10 days after a month of work. Presently, they receive salary only after 20 days.

However, in the Right to Information (RTI) filed by the concerned party, a copy of which is also with Daijiworld, it says each hour of lecture is entitled to be paid Rs 325 and a maximum of Rs 15,000.

Only Rs 60 for exam vigilance duty

Although the guest lecturers are compulsorily made exam invigilators, they are paid less than any other profession. The guest lecturers receive only Rs 60 for half day of work during exams and receive no extra payment since their salary is drawn from the hours of classes they take. For instance, a guest lecturer works only seven months a year in the academic year. If there are two months of holidays, another two months are set apart for exams. However, during exams, a guest lecturer gets only Rs 60 per half day of duty.

Therefore, the team of guest lecturers approached Mangalore University vice-chancellor Prof T C Shivshankara Murthy seeking to increase the amount to Rs 300.


“Although it is mandatory for me as a guest lecturer, to perform the duty of exam vigilance, I was removed from service for not attending duty,” the senior guest lecturer said. “I had only asked them to either hike the amount for performing the duty or not pay it. But the  authorities concerned paid no heed to my request. Therefore, I could not perform the duty,” he added.

While the officials claim that exam duty is compulsory, according to the answers received through Right to Information (RTI), exam duty is not compulsory.

Soon after, Dr Patil was removed from duty. “I was not told about the suspension either through a letter or word of mouth. I only realized it when there was a notice for the appointment of a new guest lecturer in my place,” said the senior teaching staff.  Dr Patil has a doctoral degree, Bachelor of Legislative Law (LLB), and was a practicing lawyer before he got into the teaching profession in early 2005. Presently, the teaching faculty for the journalism department consists of two guest lecturers with an MA degree in journalism.

For all the students, Dr Patil was a true mentor. Rajesh A (name changed), says, “He was the only experienced staff we had so far in the department. When we joined classes after midterm holidays, we realized that our teacher has been suspended from work. When asked, they have given us no reason. We want him back.” While another student adds, “Patil (sir) was determined to bring out the department journal to give hands-on experience to the students. He himself incurred the expenses when the higher authorities showed no interest.”

For another student, Dr Patil was more than a mentor. A student, presently pursuing Masters in Journalism and a former student at University College, says, “When I had no money to pursue my masters degree due to financial issues in my family, he had paid all the fees”.

University Version

When contacted, Mangalore University vice-chancellor Prof T C Shivashankara Murthy said he was not aware of the suspension.

"I do not know about his removal. I am out of the city for an official meeting, and I will look into the issue once back," Prof Murthy said.

When asked about the difference in payment to guest lecturers by the University as against the stipulated amount revealed by the RTI, he said, “We pay the guest lecturers as per the amount stated in the RTI. All the guest lecturers are paid Rs 60 for exam vigilance duty. The higher education department has been studying the case, and we will act based on the report.” 


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Comment on this article

  • Prathik, Mangalore

    Fri, Dec 27 2013

    Guest lecturers should get at least 35,000/- per month, they are also working equal to permanent faculties, and appoint as teaching assistant like Karnatak University.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Robert George, Mangalore

    Thu, Dec 26 2013

    The suspension of the whistle-blower lecturer may be an illustration of undesirable elements within the institution. However, we must remember that all professions and services cannot be benchmarked against highly paid jobs. Teaching is a noble profession if someone is dissatisfied with his emolument, he is free to explore other avenues. Confidentiality is an important aspect of any organization, which should not be exploited or compromised and used as a means of venting one’s indignation. The case calls for a thorough investigation.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • shetty, mangalore

    Mon, Dec 23 2013

    What a shame? Simple carpenter in Udupi earns more than 15,000/- per month

    DisAgree [3] Agree [29] Reply Report Abuse

  • I <3 Gyaan, Mangalore

    Thu, Dec 26 2013

    Some of our politicians are not even educated they earn Crores per month.
    It need not be education all the time

    DisAgree [2] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Praveen, Udupi

    Mon, Dec 23 2013

    In Udupi the condition of the guest lecturer is they have only three days work and are paid just Rs 8000. To the best of my knowledge they have not paid a salary from Sept month onwards. In simple the condition of the guest lecturers was better under Bjp rule.

    DisAgree [14] Agree [16] Reply Report Abuse

  • K. S. Mayya, Mangalore/Bangalore

    Mon, Dec 23 2013

    Glad that Daijiworld has shone light into this matter. The matter goes much deeper than what meets the eye.
    Why does a University College need this number of guest lecturers? The number is 45. Why were the regular lecturers not appointed?
    The answer is majority of the positions are reserved seats that needs to be kept vacant until a suitable candidate shows up. Because of this, many lecturer positions are never filled and Colleges (incl. department in Mangalore University) depend on these guest lecturers. Now the question is why this step motherly treatment by college when it so much dependent on guest lecturers.

    DisAgree [5] Agree [31] Reply Report Abuse

  • jayesh Rai, Mangalore

    Mon, Dec 23 2013

    What nonsense
    The vice Chancellor does not know of this suspension
    it is he who orders for the suspension
    Shivashankara murthy is suspension hero. He has by now suspended 100 staff of Konaje

    DisAgree [6] Agree [38] Reply Report Abuse

  • abdul vahid, managlore

    Mon, Dec 23 2013

    Person sleeping can be woken but the person acting like sleep will not awake. This is what the vice Chancellor is doing.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [46] Reply Report Abuse

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