The conference registered the presence of a string of politicians and speakers from CPI-M, AAP, RJD and Congress party, each unequivocally calling out the UGC roster for its “unconstitutional nature”.
The Delhi University Teacher’s Association (DUTA) today held a press conference at the Press Club of India, Raisina Road. The occasion saw DUTA gain the support of the major political parties in its on-going movement against the 5th March University Grants Commission (UGC) roster which potentially curtails the reservation in the appointment of teachers.
Rajib Ray, President of DUTA, began the conference by highlighting the implications of the 5th March 2018 UGC notification regarding Reservation Roster for SC, ST, OBC category in teaching posts in universities and colleges across the nation, which directs institutions to make the roster treating a Department as a unit in place of the UGC guidelines of 2006 which considered College/University as a unit. He further spoke over how the latest provision could only lead to delays in fulfillment of required seats, hence pushing a large number of teachers from the SC, ST, and OBC background out from university spaces and putting the future of ad-hoc teachers at jeopardy.
Among the political figures present were Sitaram Yechury, secretary general of the Communist Party of India, Manoj Jha, Member of Parliament, RJD, Amarjeet Kaur, Udit Raj, and Dev Rajan. The politicians of all the parties overtly blamed the government for systematically scaling down the constitutional values in the academic administration and called for the roster development to be seen in the backdrop of a larger national narrative. They also asked the government to restore the status quo till the Supreme Court comes with a decision over the Special Leave Petition ( SLP).
In addition to these major actors, sources later claimed that DUTA resistance has also found support from Samajwadi Party, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and, interestingly, Anusuchit Jaati Morcha of BJP.
However, questions regarding the evaluation boycott were strategically dodged, keeping the final year students and their higher education application prospects at loss. On being asked about the same, a Professor/Member of DUTA told our correspondent, “ The ball is in the government’s court. Rather than questioning the morality of the teachers, the government and the association should engage in a positive dialogue and resolve the deadlock, for everyone’s sake.”
Interestingly members of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) staged a peaceful sit-in and handed out roses to the teachers, requesting them to begin the evaluation.
Feature Image by P.V. Purnima for DU Beat