The Ad-hoc/Permanent Debate continues: For How Much Longer?

Ad-hoc professors at Delhi University demanding absorption into the permanent faculty continues to be a seemingly endless saga. The uncertainty around tenures is nothing new, and the occasional appointment does nothing for the hundreds of professors in waiting. Has the discourse around the ad-hoc/permanent debate reached a stalemate?

The Delhi University Teacher’s Association (DUTA) has been relentlessly campaigning for teachers’ rights for many years. Most notably, their strikes, demonstrations, and protest marches have called for the absorption of ad-hoc and temporary teachers through regular appointments. Permanent appointments in the university have been an “on and off” process, with changes in political power and the COVID-19 pandemic posing obstacles.

The appointment of an ad-hoc professor at Delhi University is for a maximum of 120 days, which translates to four months. Every four months, the college has to decide whether they want to continue with the professor’s services or not. This makes the situation full of unpredictability and leaves no surety about the future.

It is now almost indisputable that no matter which political party comes to power, the concerns of ad-hoc professors and guest lecturers at Delhi University remain unheard. A recent teachers’ protest at Hansraj College that followed some of the old ad-hoc faculty being spurned from permanent appointments serves as another reminder of the harsh reality. The situation remains the same in colleges across the campus, and the assertion of even the most basic rights of teachers is a tenuous exercise.

Nothing happens after a protest. Some professors have been teaching for over fifteen years and are still ad-hoc. Permanent appointments are irregular, and in the rare instances that they do take place, they are influenced by favouritism.But there is nothing to do, we can only protest and assert our rights. Everyone knows what will happen in the end.

an ad-hoc professor from Delhi University, in conversation with DU Beat

This assertion of rights, as mentioned above, has been taken up for years and years by DUTA. They still continue to write petitions and walk marches for the same. Most recently, they wrote a letter to the principals of DU colleges, requesting them to schedule a one-day notional break given to ad-hoc teachers in a way that they do not have to deal with salary loss upon re-joining. 

Permanent appointments have been stalled for many many years and that has been because of the failures of successive governments. Despite that, and in spite of every hardship that temporary professors have been facing they are diligent, hardworking and are very much a part of the system that has churned out meritorious students.

A professor who is an active member of DUTA told DU Beat

Read Also: In Her Own Words: A Teacher’s Struggle with Ad-hocism for 20 Years and Counting

Featured Image Credits: Indian Express

Shiuli Sural

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Shiuli Sural is a third year history student at Hansraj College, Delhi University. She spends her time reading and writing, and is passionate about Greek mythology and menstrual equity. Her favourite Greek goddess is Athena.