The absorption of temporary teachers initiated last year has been heavily scrutinised for being unjust and highly opaque, post the death of a DU professor who, after years of service at Hindu College, was told to vacate his position. This has sparked several protests and questioned the credibility of the recruitment process.

The suicide of a 33-year-old former Delhi University ad-hoc professor, Dr. Samarveer Singh, has sparked student and teacher-led protests throughout campuses. The deemed “institutional murder” of the professor hailing from Barna, a small district in Rajasthan, has led many to question the level of transparency and fairness in the system of inducting permanent faculty into central universities. Professors view this as an assault on their right to employment and dignity, while students have expressed great concerns and discontentment at the loss of a talented pedagogue and the unjust removal of plenty of other immensely competent academicians.

Professor Singh died on April 26, allegedly by suicide. His body was found hanging in his room in a rented apartment in outer Delhi’s Rani Bagh. As per police reports, empty liquor bottles and cigarette packets were found in the room. No suicide note was found. He was staying put in the accommodation with two of his cousins.

“The top floor of his house has two rooms. One of the rooms was locked. First, the mesh of the iron door was cut, and then the wooden door was broken. We took him to MV Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival.” – Harendra Singh, Deputy Comissioner of Police (DCP)

Dr Samarveer, who had been working as an ad-hoc faculty member in the philosophy department for the past six years at Hindu College, was one of the many professors who were being displaced after the interview rounds for the recruitment of permanent faculty at Delhi University that started in September 2022. Despite having done his master’s from Hindu College itself, completing an M.Phil. degree, being enrolled in DU for a PhD, and having had the experience of teaching at Hindu College for the last few years, Professor Samarveer was mercilessly, in an utterly unjust manner, told to vacate his office merely on the basis of a highly opaque, unfair interview.

“It is very unfortunate and upsetting, and we are all shocked. Across colleges, the recruitment process is currently underway, and selection committees are holding interviews. Even though he had been associated for quite some time, he could not be regularised. The displacement happened in the first week of February, and he was asked to look for other opportunities. However, we had adjusted him for some time, but after that, it was not possible”.- Prof. Anju Srivastava, Principal Hindu College

The professor’s family and colleagues have spoken about his helplessness and distress. After being displaced in February, he was called back to Hindu College. Owing to his love for his college, Dr Samarveer decided to give up the position of a guest lecturer at another college, but no more than twenty days after resuming work, he was told to leave once again. Creating an insecurity this intense, constantly keeping professors in the dark, and treating the pedagogues of our nation this mercilessly exhibits the diminishing respect of academicians in the education sector. Such circumstances are grave enough to create an environment conducive to the development of feelings of constant self-doubt and helplessness, which is probably what led to the unfortunate loss of Dr Samarveer. Losing out on employment in an institution to which one has devoted so many years can be disarming for anyone.

“Sir was let go in February. It came as a huge shock for all of us, considering he wasn’t even a guest lecturer and had been teaching at the college for years. Then, after being called back, he was told to leave again. April 11th was his last working day, and April 17th was the last day I saw him. He was replaced by teachers far less competent, teachers who don’t even come from a philosophy background. All thanks to the highly problematic recruitment system. I regret not being able to spend as much time with him; I wish I would have.”- Keshavi Sethi, a student from Hindu College in conversation with DU Beat

Recent events have shown how there is a greater normalisation of recruiting mass ad-hoc teachers, paying them meagre salaries, conveniently displacing them, and brazenly prioritising those with political affiliations. Under such circumstances, where does a teacher hailing from humble grounds without “appropriate” connections stand? This is a slap in the face to the legacy of exemplary pedagogy that Delhi University has long been known for. Be it the attempts to revise the syllabus, politicise the learning spaces, rob students of valuable pedagogues, or displace them with political puppets, the University’s increasingly corrupt systems are failing everyone. Several professors from various organisations like Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA), Democratic Teachers’ Front (DTF), All India Students’ Association (AISA) have expressed their concerns on these perils.

“It is a fact that a sizable number of long-serving ad-hoc teachers, who otherwise fill all the criteria and have worked very hard for their institutions, have been displaced in the recent interviews. With permanent appointments being made through a so-called “open” recruitment process which has seen massive displacement, there expectedly looms in many ad-hoc teachers a sense of betrayal as they have been rendered without a livelihood after having taught in colleges/departments and contributing to the University for years. They have been falsely promised that they will be retained and regularized in open interviews, which of course has remained a hoax. In majority of these interviews, it has been felt that merit and past experience do not count, and that it is rather non-merit factors like nepotism, cronyism, favoritism, adherence, liaising, influencing and obeisance that are at play.” – Prof. Maya John, faculty at Jesus and Mary College and member of DU’s Academic Council, in a Facebook post

A deplorable state of affairs can be witnessed in the statistics presented in the Parliament by the Union Education Ministry. Of the total number of teachers employed in central universities, 3904 were in temporary positions; of these, 1820 were on a contractual basis and 1931 were guest faculty, with over 6500 permanent positions yet to be filled. 2,252 seats of these were for unreserved categories, while the rest were for OBCs, STs, and SCs. Dr Samarveer himself was eligible for application to a permanent job through the reserved category but was still denied a job.

“Academia is not as attractive a profession as it was earlier. It takes years to gain expertise, the necessary qualifications in one domain to be able to get a decent-paying job in the teaching sector. It is disheartening to see how the maltreatment of teachers is leading to a degradation in the quality of pedagogues owing to a lesser number of people opting into the profession. The career of all teachers is in a perpetual crisis. Under such conditions why would one want to become a teacher?” Dr Abha Dev Habib, a professor in Miranda Hourse, in conversation with DU Beat.

She continues,

“For as long as 10 years there were no appointments to permanent positions, with a greater number of ad-hoc and guest lecturers being appointed. 2017 was the year DUTA raised demands for absorption of temporary teachers. The deterrence to appoint permanent teachers stemmed from the larger conspiracy to weaken teachers unions which speak up against injustice. 2022 onwards, after great pressure the government finally opened up to the prospect of appointing permanent teachers. A huge number of teachers were awaiting their due. Injustice has been done to so many who have served their institutions for years. Services were taken from people, and were dishonored. There is a systematic rigging in the system which prioritises spouses, friends of office bearers over merit. Loss of a breed of exemplary teachers can cause an irreversible damage to the education system of our nation.”

Following the unfortunate demise of Dr Samarveer, several student and teacher unions have taken to the streets and college campuses to protest against the unjust system. The DUTA (Delhi University Teachers’ Association) held a protest on Thursday, followed by a condolence meeting. AISA (All India Student’s Association) has held protests against “brutal injustice to teachers.” Student groups like SFI (Students Federation of India) at Hindu College organised a condolence meet on April 27, the same day the college was celebrating its annual fest, Mecca, in full swing. Many students have also expressed their concern and frustration over the lack of acknowledgement and action on behalf of the college administration, the University, and even the student body.

“From diligently taking his classes to giving us an off whenever it got too hectic for us, Sir was a gem of a person. It’s sad to see that the college administration didn’t even bother to acknowledge the loss of such a brilliant mind while celebrating it’s annual fest. The ad-hoc issue is no longer costing professors their jobs, it’s costing them their lives, their dreams and their souls.”- Himasweeta, final-year student at Hindu College

Among the ongoing protests was the Joint Press Conference dated May 2, held at the Press Club of India. Students and teachers of DU met the press regarding the ‘orchestrated conspiracies’ of favouritism in recruitments against the backdrop of Dr Samarveer’s suicide. Teachers from CTF (Common Teachers Forum), Democratic Teachers Front, Delhi Teachers Initiative, and Samajwadi Shikshak Manchak participated in the conference. Representatives from DU’s academic council and DUTA were also present. The institutionalisation of NEP was severely scrutinised, with increasing privatisation, commercialization of education, contractual hiring, and an orchestrated attempt to weaken and demobilise the teachers union forming the core of the conversations. The speakers included Nandita Narain (President of DTF, former member of DUTA), Ratan Lal (senior activist from Hindu College), Udaibir Singh (member of the academic council), Aftab Alam (Zakir Hussain College), Maya John (academic council member and JMC professor), and Uma Raag (from IP College).

During the conference, Rusham and Keshavi, former students of Dr Samarveer Singh, expressed their frustration with the current apathy of the university community. Puneet and Sama, Hansraj College students, spoke about how the best of the faculty was being replaced methodologically, with 50–60 teachers having lost their jobs in their college. The speakers also highlighted the silence of the DUTA leadership and its inability to stand against political cronyism. Discussions on the selection committee’s selective work on furthering the interests of the ruling majority were held. It was reported that some interviews did not last longer than 2 minutes and seldom included actual meaningful questions. There are instances of candidates being humiliated by the board. All speakers finally agreed upon the solution that all teachers be absorbed, keeping the reservation roster in mind. All the teachers who attended the press conference have sent a letter to the Vice Chancellor underlining these issues and demanding justice for Dr. Samarveer and all other ad hoc and guest faculty of the University.

Read also: DU Teachers Stage Protest for Absorption of Ad-Hoc Teachers

Featured Image Credits: Rediff.com

Rubani Sandhu
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On Monday, April 10, the teachers and various teacher organisations of Delhi University staged a protest during an Executive Council meeting, demanding the absorption of ad-hoc and temporary teachers along with the formation of governing bodies in Delhi government-funded DU colleges.

The members of the Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) protested outside the vice chancellor’s office while the Executive Council meeting was underway. They were joined by the teachers’ wing of the Aam Adami Party, the Academics for Action and Development Delhi Teachers’ Association (AADTA). The demonstration included two members of the Executive Council itself, Seema Das and Rajpal Singh Pawar, who are also associated with AADTA. The primary issue raised was that of the displacement of ad-hoc teachers, leading to dire financial conditions and job insecurity.

 “The ousting of long-serving teachers is inhumane and promotes social insecurity in the working of the ad-hoc teaching community, which is not in the interest of the academic environment, teachers, and the community.”

                                            —AK Bhagi, Delhi University Teachers’ Association President

They demanded the absorption of displaced teachers and additionally called for the formation of governing bodies in colleges funded by the Delhi government, claiming that the “arbitrary displacements” had been a result of the absence of governing bodies.

“DU has been reneging on its promise of no displacement and warned that this is leading to the harassment of thousands of ad-hoc and temporary teachers working in the colleges of the University.”

                         —Seema Das, Executive Council Member and Member of AADTA

Displacement of ad-hoc teachers has been a pressing issue in the varsity, as data gathered by some University teachers suggests that nearly 76% of ad-hoc teachers have been displaced. Of the 615 ad-hoc teachers who were interviewed for permanent positions in various colleges, it is estimated that nearly 465 have been displaced as of April 8. Many of them have been teaching for several years, some even decades and nearing retirement.

“You cannot displace them in just two minutes. What will happen to them? Where will they go? Many of these teachers are above 40 and some are even nearing retirement. They provided their services despite knowing that they were not going to receive any facilities that the permanent staff do. We have been abandoned by the University and left in a lurch.”

                   — An anonymous ad-hoc teacher who was displaced recently

Some teachers alleged lack of transparency in the interview process, saying that they were not selected despite having experience and academic publications.

Featured Image Credits: DU Beat Archives

Read also: Chronological Account of the DUTA Ad-Hoc Crisis

Sanika Singh
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Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA)  wrote to Professor Yogesh Tyagi, Vice Chancellor (VC), Delhi University (DU) regarding the delay in the payment of salaries to teachers working on ad hoc/guest basis.

On 6th April 2020, DUTA wrote to Professor Yogesh Tyagi, VC, DU regarding the delay in the payment of salaries to the teachers of the university who are working on ad hoc/guest basis. Though DUTA thanked the administration for the steps that the university has taken to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and the series of notifications for the payment of salaries to employees – teaching and non-teaching and staff under CAS / SAP / DSA Scheme, honorarium to guest faculty and fellowships to project staff, researchers and fellows, they drew attention to the delay in the payment of salaries of ad hoc and guest teachers. The delay of payment of salaries has remained to be a pressing issue plaguing the university’s temporary teaching staff and especially in the ongoing pandemic, it is turning fatal for money and gravely jeopardising their financial situation. According to sources, the departments had sent approvals regarding the extension of the term of ad hoc teachers and the appointment of guest lectures, but due to delay in these approvals, the temporary faculty is now facing a denial of financial security.

“It seems that Departments are still awaiting necessary approvals from the University,” DUTA wrote, as revealed by a released press statement. “It had been brought to our notice that ad-hoc teachers have either been paid salaries till 29 February or till 20 March 2020. Departments had sent recommendations for the extension of the term of these teachers and are still awaiting approvals. As far as guest teachers are concerned, approvals to their appointments are yet to be received by Departments even though these teachers have been teaching since the beginning of the semester. Heads of Departments are hesitant to fill the required information in the form sent out in the absence of these approvals. Please note that this delay in completing required formalities have denied financial security to these teachers. Salaries and honorarium are often delayed for months together but a delay in the current situation is causing much hardship to teachers.”

Before the shut down of the university, the organisation had called for an indefinite strike of DU teachers to protest against the lack of job security for ad hocs and guest lecturers who were denied job security.

Rajesh Jha, EC Member, said, “There is no nationale to withhold their salary, when they have been working hard for our university despite their uncertain situation. They are still attending the students. Even the central and state governments have come out with the policy of no salary cut during the period of lockdown. The university and college administration must release their salaries immediately.”

Vice Chancellor Professor Yogesh Tyagi is yet to comment on the released statement by DUTA.

Feature Image Credits: Official DU Website

Shreya Juyal

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As the new semester takes off from today, 1st January, the University of Delhi (DU) halls still witness the indefinite strike of Delhi University’s Teacher’s Association (DUTA) that began from 4th December, demanding permanent absorption of ad-hoc teachers.


Delhi University’s Teacher’s Association (DUTA)’s a month-long strike which was initiated on 4th December 2019, to demand permanent absorption of more than 4500 ad-hoc teachers has continued even till the new semester. The protest led to an amendment of 28th August Circular along with relief given to ad-hoc teachers to sit for interviews for permanent positions by Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD). The MHRD also guaranteed that no ad-hoc teacher would be removed until permanent positions would be filled. However, the demand for permanent absorption of 4500 ad-hoc teachers was not fulfilled that has fueled this on-going agitation.


The teachers had already boycotted evaluation and invigilation duties for the end-semester examinations. The DUTA has still decided to continue their strike which leaves the fate of the students in this semester hanging which can be owned up to to the lack of action by DU administration.


The demands of teachers also consisted of the consideration of ad-hoc time for time-based appraisal. Over 2700 positions in various departments are yet to be filled which have risen due to retirement or resignation in this semester.


Rajib Ray, President, DUTA, told Indian Express that “The call for strike still stands but the teachers will collect syllabi from their colleges to not hamper the studies of the students. We will conduct a review on January 7 to decide the future course of action.”


However, the administration has provided a contrasting view stating that the evaluation is ‘on track’ and there has been no hindrance. Vinay Gupta, Dean (Examinations) said as per Indian Express that, “There have been no issues and the result is likely to be declared by January end.”


Amidst the many conflicting perspectives, an official notification by DUTA as well as the DU administration is required to solve the chaos to ensure proper systematic teaching of students.


Feature Image Credits: newsclick

Chhavi Bahmba

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The Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD) has offered a one-time relief to allow all ad-hoc teachers of the University of Delhi (DU) to appear for interviews for permanent positions.

The MHRD has ended an impasse and finally offered relief to the ad-hoc teachers of DU, allowing them to appear for interviews for permanent positions. The government on Friday, 20th December, also directed DU to let the ad hoc teachers continue in their positions until the permanent positions are filled. After a meeting between Professor Yogesh Tyagi, the vice-chancellor of DU and the MHRD along with University Grant Commission’s (UGC) officials, the university wrote to the principals and directors of colleges and institutions of the university that the vacancies will be filled in a time-bound manner and ad hoc and guest faculty will continue as an interim measure.

This decision was taken after the teachers of the university rose in an indefinite strike, called by the Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) on 4th December 2019. They called for this strike in support of their demand to withdraw the 28th August circular mandating appointment of guest faculty over ad-hoc teachers against substantive vacancies arising for the first time in the academic session. The teachers were urged to stay away from all official duties, including invigilation and evaluation of the university’s end-semester examinations. DUTA officials also met with principals of colleges who have kept renewal of ad-hoc teachers’ tenure in abeyance and have not released salaries.

Amit Khare, Secretary, higher education, MHRD, said, “After the meeting of the UGC on Thursday, 19th December, it was decided that as a one-time relief, all the ad-hoc teachers will be eligible for appearing in the interviews for fulfilment of permanent positions in University of Delhi. Moreover, the working ad-hoc teachers will continue in their positions till the time the permanent positions are filled.”

The letter issued by the university to its colleges stated that the colleges and institutions would have to fill the permanent vacancies in a “time-bound manner” and that in the interim time taken to fill out these positions, ad-hoc/temporary/guest faculty can be appointed.

Rajib Ray, the president of DUTA, said, “We welcome the decision. We want further concessions so that the ad-hoc teachers are absorbed in the permanent positions soon.”

However, the DUTA continues their indefinite strike for further demands of absorption on the basis of DoPT (Department of Personnel and Training) roster and promotion with counting of Ad-hoc experience.

Feature Image Credits: India TV

Shreya Juyal

[email protected]

We all talk about the problems and difficulties in the lives of students, but we always forget to mention the difficulties that professors face.

The job of a teacher is considered as a fixed-time job by many. A lot of students talk about how a professor just has to come, speak for an hour, deliver lectures, and go back and enjoy the rest of the day. But the real question is that, is their job as easy as it is thought to be? The answer to this question comes in many forms. 

Becoming a professor is not just a day-job that can be turned off after working hours. It changes the way of life, as it changes the way one acts, and you cannot truly turn your academic brain off. Their job is not just restricted to the classroom. It is taken to their home as well. For instance, writing assignments is the work of students, but correcting them and offering ways for becoming better is the work of the teacher. Correcting assignments of 50 students is not done in a single day. If a student takes an hour to write a test, the professor will also need some time to read and correct it. It is a result of hours of hard work.

The work of a professor is also not limited to delivering lectures. It forms a much wider perspective. Once you become a teacher and are responsible for a bunch of students, you are not responsible just for their academics, but also their overall growth. Where the right or a positive professor can lead to the rise of a student, the negative one can lead to their fall. Everything a teacher does has the power to influence the students.

Bharati Jagannathan, a permanent faculty at Miranda House said, “The job of a professor is easier in comparison to other private corporate jobs as they have to work for longer shifts. However, there are other difficulties in our lives. It depends on what we are looking at. For instance, teaching the same paper over years is not difficult as we just need to brush up our knowledge. But taking a new paper increases the difficulty. We need to spend hours in college where we do not even have our personal space. The people in the administrative department have their cubicles, but we are required to share the same room with other professors. The work is also not confined to just college, as we need to prepare for our lectures, read and check assignments every day.”

Mridul Megha, an ad-hoc professor said, “Being a teacher is not easy, but it is exciting. Moreover, being an ad-hoc professor is a little difficult because the fear that we will have to sit for interviews again in the next semester and we might or might not get the job is always there at the back of our mind. As a result of this, we are also not able to associate ourselves with a single college.”

She further adds, “The notion that teaching is time-constrained is not very true. Teaching is a profession that is not restricted to just college. We need to prepare daily for our lectures and if we have 4 lectures then it is like preparing for 4 tests every day. We need to keep updating ourselves and that is not easy. In most of the other professions, the work stays confined to the workplace itself but as a teacher, we have to dedicate around 2-3 hours at home every day to reading.”

Balancing work, family, life, and self is demanding at times. Professional life is time-consuming and challenging. Thus, it can be said that the life of a professor is not easy. Just like every other professional, they have a hundred things to deal with, and they have a bigger responsibility of building the character of a student as well.

Feature Image Credits: DUB Archives 

Priya Chauhan

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In addition to this, around 4000 teaching positions vacant in various colleges of the varsity.

As many as 13 Departments of Delhi University (DU) are currently functioning without a permanent dean or head. This lack of a regulatory figure has led to a disruptment in the activities of the concerned departments.

According to Rajesh Jha, a member of DU’s Executive Council (EC), there are 13 departments that don’t have a dean or permanent head. Additionally, there are two more departments whose deans’ tenures have ended, but they are temporarily working as deans on the request of the University administration, as expressed by him on The Sunday Guardian Live.

“The University administration is reluctant to function in a normal manner; it comes up with strange anti-education initiatives, and is not taking care of the real needs of the university. There are 13 departments that don’t have a permanent dean or head. Nearly 20 DU colleges have no permanent principals. The funds allocated for various development works of the University are not being used properly,” Jha further added, speaking to the same news agency.

Works including research, among others, are getting affected due to this. Administrative works, too, naturally, are being affected. “The DU administration, mainly the Vice-Chancellor (VC), is reluctant to address these problems,” Jha complained.

According to the EC member, in the Faculty of Medical Science, posts of eight department heads are lying vacant; similarly, in the Faculty of Social Science, three posts of heads are vacant. The Faculty of Interdisciplinary and Applied Science and Faculty of Commerce have one post of head vacant in each center.

DU teachers have been, time and again, protesting for the appointment of administrative and teaching, but all has fallen to deaf ears since the University’s affairs are still being run in an ad-hoc manner. Nearly 4,000 teaching staff posts are vacant in the various colleges of DU and the teaching is being managed by ad-hoc teachers.

Every year, there is a steady increase in the number of students that DU houses, but it does not run the same way when it comes to staff. There is an imbalance between the ration of students and teachers; therefore, the standard of education is on a decline.

Image credits: DU Beat archives

Maumil Mehraj

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Ad-hoc teachers continue to face barbaric rules of the university, even the ones denying them of maternity leave.

The Delhi High Court has sought response from the Delhi University on a petition alleging that it was not granting leave to its female ad-hoc teachers.

The petition, which was filed by a female professor of Sri Aurobindo College, contended that under the Maternity Benefit Act she was entitled to six months leave, the varsity refused to grant her the relief as she was not a permanent employee and was employed on an ad-hoc basis.

The petitioner also contested that the Supreme Court had held that maternity benefits are available to all irrespective of the type of employment — permanent or contractual.

Taking note of the submissions made by the petitioner, Justice Suresh Kait observed that according to the apex court judgement and the act, she was entitled to maternity leave and asked the lawyer on behalf of DU to take instructions on the issue.
In her plea, the woman has claimed that she had sent several representations to the University since January 4 seeking grant of maternity leave as her expected date of delivery was February 22.However, DU failed to respond and she gave birth on February 3.

According to her lawyer, the professor has been on leave without pay as the varsity did not sanction her request for maternity leave.
DU’s lawyer told the court that her contract was renewed every four months and at present it stands expired on March 18.The lawyer also said it was a policy decision of the varsity to provide the benefit to only its permanent employees.

The High Court has now scheduled another hearing on the 10th of April,2019.

Image credits: DU Beat archives

Jaishree Kumar

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The recent strikes by the University ad hoc teachers still go unheard as the University approves contract hiring of teachers for vacancies.

The 17 th January march by Delhi University Teachers’ Association(DUTA) at Ram Lila grounds sems to turn unfruitful as the University approves the contractual hiring of teachers after introducing ordinance XII E, enabling the hiring of contract-based lecturers who will be employed for vacancies spanning one year. This was passed with a provision to have 10 percent of the permanent positions as contractual appointments.

DUTA conducted a long march on the 17th January 2019 from Ramleela Maidan to Parliament Street in lieu of the several demands placed by them, including the proper absorption of the ad hoc and temporary teachers through a one-time regulation into the university, the resolution of the reservation issue through an ordinance and the restoration of the 200 point roster which the Supreme Court set in July 2018 which treats university/college as a unit. This became necessary after the recruitment policy in the University observed a halt on account of a letter drafted by the University Grants Commission, dated 5th March 2018 which asked the colleges to implement reservations by considering the subject as a unit, resulting in a significant reduction in the jobs for the reserved castes.

The DUTA strikes have been an ongoing struggle as protests began on 2nd January 2019, when the professors across Delhi University agitated against the unavailability of permanent positions, pensions, and maternity leaves for the ad hoc teachers. Such demonstrations and protests have been witnessed in the past too, but to no avail. The strike had more than five thousand people, including the teachers and students as active participants. The march was initiated from Zakir Hussain College at 11 AM and continued to Ramleela Maidan and Parliament Street. The protestors were detained by the police and lathi charge was issued on them, leading to many teachers and students suffered injuries.

The introduction of the contractual appointment as a response to the Ministry of Human Resources Development in these teaching positions will not lead to any substantial benefi, as it will create a feeling of insecurity among the ad hoc teachers who are already agitating against their lack of employment privileges.

In response to the past happenings, Professor Rajib Ray, President of DUTA, in his interview to The Tribune commented, “We hold the Vice-Chancellor squarely responsible for the complete administrative paralysis and subversion of the statutory bodies in the University and demand that he should act or go.”

The present situation still does not have any tangible outcomes, despite the active protests. The University has not issued any recent statement on the same issue, providing a bleak future to the entire agitation.

Feature Image Credits: Aakarsh Gupta for DU Beat.

Avnika Chhikara

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Exploring the history of the events that triggered the ongoing unrest within DU’s academia.

In October 2017, the University Grants Commission (UGC) had introduced rules, making reservation applicable at the department level instead of university level. The UGC rules had followed an Allahabad High Court order of April 2017, which was upheld by the Supreme Court. The High Court had struck down a UGC circular on institution-wise quota to fill vacant Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) posts, pointing out that there were departments without any SC/ST teachers. The new UGC rules had led to widespread protests across universities with professors, and critics saying that such a move will deprive many reserved candidates of their jobs.

In March 2018, UGC issued a fresh order with new clauses that asked for a roster system, sparking an instant backlash in the university system. Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) said that, till now, the UGC had specifically prohibited the practice of making department-wise cadres, as that would lead to the denial of reservation in small departments. In June 2018, DUTA organized ‘satyagraha’ amid reports of autonomisation of the University of Delhi (DU), by calling off the evaluation for this semester’s examination papers. Members cited this move as ‘anti-education, and anti-people policy pronouncements of the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development.’ In particular, the teachers were strongly opposed to the 30%-70% funding formula, the tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) requiring steady increase in students’ fees, graded autonomy, and the scheme of autonomous colleges. The DU administration later via a press release pleaded teachers to start the evaluation soon. In response to the ongoing protest about reservation roster, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) drafted a bill that stipulates for the maintainence of the vacancy roasters university wise at all centrally funded higher education institutions to implement reservation of faculty members in November 2018.

In December 2018, agitation with respect to the government’s failure to implement the Seventh Pay Commission in totality for universities translated into more protests. The notification for implementation of revised allowances, and pensions, consequent to the Seventh pay Commission, and disbursal of the required funds for its implementation are still pending, according to the memebers of the DUTA.

In January 2019, a two day shutdown was triggered by the Vice Chancellor’s (VC) refusal to table the report of the Recommendation Committee constituted to review the UGC gazette notification related to teachers’ service conditions. Dr. Rakesh, a member of DUTA spoke to DU Beat. He said, “VC has launched new terms to count the served time period, which harms us. He hasn’t enforced the UGC guidelines, which relieves the ad hocs.” Thousands of teaching, and nonteaching permanent posts remain vacant, while teachers and karamcharis have been working on ad hoc posts for many years. Ad hoc teachers lack job security, and employment benefits. They demand regularisation, and absorption of temporary, and ad hoc teachers. They also accused the government of sweeping the reservation roster issue under the rug, owing to their silence on the matter. Dr. A.M. Khan, a member of DUTA, expressed dissatisfaction with the Ministry, VC and the Government, saying, “There were very high hopes with regard to the new government, but unfortunately the opposite happened. Thus, everyone is on the streets today”.

Feature Image Credits: Aakarsh Gupta for DU Beat.

Nikita Bhatia

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