The deadlock between DUTA and the University of Delhi’s (DU) administration finally terminated on the 16th of June 2018, a result of the meeting between the Vice Chancellor of DU and the DUTA office bearers. Two days later, on 18th June, the DUTA ended their boycott of evaluation of DU examination papers, in the interest of the student community.
While appealing to the DUTA to lift the nearly month-long evaluation boycott, the VC, on Saturday, had taken serious note of the crisis precipitated by the University Grants Commission’s (UGC) 5th March Notification on the Roster. Through a phone call conversation, Executive Council member of the DUTA Yogendra Yadav informed DU Beat , “The meeting between the VC and DUTA had continued for five hours.”
Notably, the DUTA had been agitating against the UGC’s circular dated 5th March that included a number of provisions which would have allegedly denied reservation of teaching positions in smaller departments to members of the ST, SC and OBC communities. Moreover, it would have derailed the process of permanent appointments and displace ad-hoc teachers who have been teaching for many years.
In Saturday’s meeting, the VC had broken the deadlock by assuring the DUTA that the DU administration will try to get all working ad-hoc faculty continued in the new session. Moreover, regarding the issue of the counting of past services, he had agreed to allow a five-member DUTA delegation to represent its position before the University Committee.
Subsequently, on 18th June, the DUTA held an emergency Executive Meeting followed by a General Body meeting in order to decide their future course of action after the VC’s assurances. In the same, the DUTA decided to terminate their evaluation boycott while resolving to take forward its agitation through alternate modes.
DUTA President Rajib Ray told the DU Beat correspondent, “The student community of DU has always been supportive of our struggle including the time of the evaluation boycott. We have taken note of the appeals made by students and we will ensure that examination results are declared on time so that the interests of students are not hurt.”
DUTA Executive Dr. Surendra Kumar who had been an active participant in the DUTA agitation told this correspondent, “While DUTA has agreed to give up the evaluation boycott for the students, we have not agreed to give up our agitation per se.”
When asked about the future course of action, he remarked, “Regarding the Reservation Roster, the DUTA will review the situation after the 2nd July Supreme Court hearing on the Review Petition. The need of the hour is to mobilise wider political support on the issue of the Roster to ensure that the Constitutional rights of the SCs, STs and OBCs are protected.”
The official circular of DUTA summarizing the minutes of the meeting held on Monday concluded, “The withdrawal of the evaluation boycott is in the spirit of empathy and solidarity. It now remains to be seen whether the MHRD (Ministry of Human Resource Development) and DU’s administration are able to go beyond usual platitudes and are able to show genuine concern for the students and teachers.”
Arushi Chabbra, a student of B.Com Honours who appeared for her final semester exams from Indraprastha College for Women told this correspondent, “We are glad that the DUTA listened to our demands and decided to give up their evaluation boycott. The relationship between the students and the teachers in DU should essentially be symbiotic. We supported them in their struggle, now they must show their support by starting the evaluation process at the earliest.”
Feature Image Credits: India Today
Vaibhavi Sharma Pathak