LAHORE - Hundreds of lecturers in government colleges of Punjab are waiting for their promotions to Grade-18 even after the lapse of 21 years. Sources said at least 8,000 lecturers are waiting for their promotions to the next grade pending the decision of DPC. Grade 18 was due to 8,000 lecturers recruited during 1989, 1988 and 1990 but they have not been given promotion even after the lapse of seven years of service. A number of lecturers were given move-over to Grade-18 after reaching basic salary equal to that of Grade-18 but they were again reverted to the position of lecturers in Grade-17 as the policy of move over was abandoned. As a result, thousands of posts of assistant professors, associate professors and professors are lying vacant in colleges because of the apathy of departmental promotion committee which seldom meet to decide the promotion cases. The fate of officers is in limbo and it is feared that they would retire in the initial scale if adequate measures were not taken for timely promotions and postings against the seats available with the department. According to an estimate, more than 5,000 lecturers are waiting for their promotion to next grade while 2,000 contractual lecturers recently regularised by the government will also face the same fate. The inordinate delay in granting promotions to the lecturers is not due to financial reasons or lack of recruitment of incumbent officers through Public Service Commission (PPSC) in line with the budget provision but simply because of lapses of administrative matters. If the education department and the DPC take up the cases regularly and process the cases one month prior to the retirement of an officer, the promotion cases can never be pending. At the same time shortage of teachers like assistant professors, associate professors and professors can also be fulfilled by a continuing process of promotions and postings from the date of occurrence of the post on the pattern of DMGs and OMGs. It is, however, unfortunate that the DPC and the department do not take cases of the academicians seriously. The experts say if promotion on seniority is timely undertaken, 50 per cent of the teachers problems can be solved amicably and without incurring any additional finances. Failing in recurrent practice and on-going process, the teachers in the far-flung areas continue to visit the provincial metropolis in pursuance of their cases, causing colossal loss to the students and the institutions.