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Keshav Mahavidyalaya’s Non-Teaching Staff on Month-Long Protest

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For the past month, the non-teaching staff of Keshav Mahavidyalaya have been protesting in a sit-in dharna for demands such as pending promotions and timely payment of dues. The administration has allegedly not relented to any requests as of yet. 

In an exclusive conversation with DU Beat, a member of the Karamchari Union of Keshav Mahavidyalaya alleged that promotions of the college’s non-teaching staff have been halted since 2009. Instead, they accused, the appointment of retired individuals has been extended to fill up the posts that were supposed to be taken up via promotions. This has led to serious concerns about financial security and workers’ rights, given that 30-32 members of the Keshav Mahavidyalaya Non-Teaching Staff Union have been protesting in the college since April 12, 2023.

Jo jahan pe hai wo vahin hai. Job kisiliye karta hai aadmi? Isiliye ki jisse uski koi growth ho, wo zindagi mein kuch achieve kar paye… 17-26 saal ho gaye hain logon ko kaam karte hue. Mehangai badh rahi hai, par us hisaab se aapki salary nahi increase ho rahi. Aadmi apni zaruratein nahi puri kar paata, apne parivaar ke kharche nahi utha pata.

(Everyone is stuck where they are. Why does someone work at a job? So that they can achieve something in life and for growth… It’s been 17–26 years since we have been working. Prices have been rising, but our salaries have not been increasing in proportion. One is not able to fulfil their needs and fend for their family.)

– Anonymous member of Keshav Mahavidyalaya Non-Teaching Staff Union

Even though the number of students being admitted to the college has increased over the years, our sources claimed that the number of posts for non-teaching staff has not increased in proportion to the increasing workload. Reportedly, posts such as lab assistant, library assistant, gardener, etc. are vacant and awaiting promotions.

Additionally, our sources alleged that the college has not been adhering to the reservation policy; posts reserved for SC, ST, and OBC categories have allegedly been allotted to unreserved candidates. In another instance, they accused the college of allotting examination duties to “near and dear ones” instead of the existing college staff.

Our sources retold a particular instance of pending promotions which arose in the case of the post of Senior Assistant in the Administration department. According to the post-based promotion roster available on the college website, there are two posts in the cadre. However, our sources informed us that the same was reduced to 1 post in subsequent rosters. A plea filed in 2011 under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005, once again revealed that there were two posts present of Senior Assistant in the college.

Alleging “a blame game on Dilli sarkar (Delhi government)”, they reported that inquiries with the administration were met with the response that Delhi government has not sanctioned or approved those posts and that the college lacks adequate funding. Letters and mails to the administration have allegedly not yielded much positive response either.

Admin se jo ek-do baar baat hui hai, tab unhone humein pressurize karne ki neeti apnai hai. Ki aap apne kaam pe laut jao. Darane-dhamkane ka bhi unka raha hai.

(In the one or two times that we have talked to the administration, they have adopted the strategy of trying to pressurize us. That we should return to work. They have tried to intimidate and threaten us.)

– Anonymous member of Keshav Mahavidyalaya Non-Teaching Staff Union

While headlines of fund-crunch in the 12 DU colleges that come under the purview of the Delhi government have surfaced before, our source reported that, as per their knowledge, the teaching staff of the college hasn’t faced any issue with promotion or dues. If the issue is reportedly limited only to the non-teaching staff, they raised questions about the validity of the fund shortage reasoning.

The protesting workers and non-teaching staff have pleaded for immediate redressal of their “long-overdue demands” and inquiry into all cases of alleged maladministration.

Read also: DU Non-Teaching Staff Protest Demands Pending Promotions

Featured Image Credits: Sourabh for DU Beat

Sanika Singh

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Journalism has been called the “first rough draft of history”. D.U.B may be termed as the first rough draft of DU history. Freedom to Express.

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