HYDERABAD: The Hyderabad High Court’s statement that no outsourced employee working in the state’s power sector can be absorbed, has become a cause of concern for others employed on a similar basis across the state. Associate and assistant professors hired on contract basis in Osmania University claim that though they are better qualified, are technically sound besides having a deeper understanding on the subject, they are nothing but slaves of the system.
For a long time now, these employees have been sending representations to the university administration to regularise jobs for those who are qualified and eligible. Though the 100-year-old autonomous varsity has the power to appoint its faculty, little is being done to absorb qualified PhDs working on contract basis to fill the posts. After repeated appeals, Kadiyam Srihari, education minister constituted the Tirupati Rao Committee to regularise contract employees, but there has been no progress. The UGC guidelines also state that all contract employees should be regularised. Besides no job security or any additional benefits, they have to face humiliation at a various levels.
Priya Kumari, who has been teaching Zoology at Nizam College for the last 18 years has decided against having a second child as she might get terminated any time. “Besides this, though it is essential for me to keep the job, I am looked down upon by everyone. I have to listen to things like, the ayamma has a better pay than you. And then when there is a crisis at home, they say, you are not doing anything important anyway, so why don’t you attend to it,” said Priya, who has a doctorate and is passionate about teaching.
In the past, she attended two recruitment sessions where the job was given to those who already had permanent government jobs. Every leave they take results in a loss of pay and they start with a salary of `21,600 though better qualified. Some of them, who studied in social welfare hostels, braving all odds to land a job as a professor and pass on their learning to those like them, are left with no hope.
“Most of us are doctorates with double masters. This is a university for the masses and empathy is our basic trait. We teach with the passion to uplift those like us because we know where they come from,” said Venkatesh, a Geology professor at the university. At a professional level, there is no scope for growth either. Shailaja, who also teaches at Nizam College wanted to take up the job so that she can keep learning. “We are not eligible for any kind of funding. The CSIR funds a lot of projects, so does UGC. On those days, we have to take care of the department. We are barred from setting papers for examinations, or provide mentorship for any PhD scholars. There is no scope for growth professionally either,” shared Shailaja.