The Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) held a three-day public hearing, from 30th March to 1st April, against the DU Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Dinesh Singh. Students, teachers and parents shared their experiences of the academic situation and highlighted the illegalities and financial irregularities committed by the DU VC. Students representing All India Students Association also sang songs of hope and struggle and raised slogans for the VC’s immediate removal.
Students on the first day highlighted problems such as their experiences in regular colleges and School of Open Learning (SOL), underlining the neglect and academic fraud perpetuated in the name of restructuring and reforms. The teachers spoke about the disastrous impact of FYUP and semester system, and the callous manner in which DU disregarded all AICTE norms related to technical support, course content, class-sizes and student-teacher ratio while it merely renamed existing B.Sc. courses into B.Tech, thus precipitating the crisis of AICTE approvals.
On the second day, the illegalities committed by the VC were discussed. DU’s repeated attempts to deny due reservations to students in admissions and teachers in permanent appointments, pointed to the violation of the reservation policy in many colleges. EC members spoke about how the statutory violations were deemed necessary by the VC when he realized that the Statutes and Ordinances of the DU Act do not allow authorities to bring about unilateral and arbitrary changes. Brazen violations and irregularities, which included the misuse of Emergency Powers to victimize teachers in all routine and service matters were talked about. Findings of the RTI responses highlighted a major scam of over 170 crores of OBC funds being diverted towards purchase of laptops, and funds meant for the development of teaching facilities in departments.
The third day discussed the VC’s overall intolerance to ideas and heterogeneous ways of thinking that, subsequently, had a disastrous impact on the standards of teaching-learning. It was also described how the statutory bodies had been systematically robbed of their independence.Principals have got encouraged because of misgovernance by the VC and have, in turn tried to suppress voices of teachers who raise issues. Teachers who worked on adhoc basis for many years have been recently pushed out because the DU administration has not respected reservation roster, the effect being that rosters are being manipulated in college.
Teachers and students present at the three day public hearing concluded that the worst victims of the repressive governance and violation of democratic processes are students. Repressive governance put in place to bulldoze recent academic restructuring including Semester System, FYUP and Examination Reforms has jeopardized careers of lakhs of students. Through the jansunwai, the university community has once again urged the Visitor to take into account the abuse of Office by DU VC and act on the matter immediately.