DUTA protests


Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) recently revealed a survey done on around 700 ad-hoc teachers, highlighting their demographic profiles and working conditions to revalidate ‘One-Time Absorption’ as the only way to alleviate the young teachers and their conditions. 


In a press statement released on 5th February 2020, DUTA revealed information about the demographic profiles and working conditions of the ad-hoc teachers of the University. According to the survey, over 4500 teachers at the University of Delhi are working on an ad-hoc or temporary basis, as permanent appointments haven’t taken place in over a decade. All the ad-hoc teachers fulfil the minimum eligibility criteria as per UGC regulations. 80% have higher qualifications and 88% are NET qualified. Nearly half the respondents have worked in one institution – this suggests that institutions are satisfied with the performance of the teachers and are benefitting from the contributions these teachers make to the academic and corporate life of the institutions. The data also shows that most Ad-hoc teachers are only able to pursue academic activities at great cost – without any leave or only during vacations, and nearly 25% are unable to pursue any academic activity at all.   


“Recruitment was done sporadically in two brief periods, first in 2014-15 and then in 2017, in few colleges/departments. The recruitment process, which started because of a High Court Order of December 2016, was brought to a complete halt because of the 5 March 2018 UGC notification for the implementation of Department/Subject-wise roster. It took over a year for the issue to get resolved. However, meanwhile, all advertisements for permanent appointments over 2700 posts lapsed. The change in screening criteria and recruitment process as per UGC Regulations 2018 now threatens the prospects of a vast majority of these teachers,” the Statement read. 


The ad-hoc teachers have the same qualifications as permanent teachers- fulfilling all the requisite academic qualifications like NET/JRF, M Phil, PhD, Post-doctorate etc. from prestigious Universities of India and abroad, and having teaching experience for years- and perform the same functions in their colleges and institutions as permanent teachers, and still, are denied job security. They receive no facilities like annual increments, medical benefits, maternity leaves, etc. and the duration of their tenure depends largely on the whims of the administration of their institutions, as stated by the press release. “This is also reflected in the findings as women constitute 57% of the workforce and most of them are either unable to plan their families or face extreme hardship during their pregnancies. Many are forced to leave their job – this is not reflected in the survey as only those who were able to get back their job figure in the survey.”


DUTA and the University’s teachers have been agitating for over 2 months now to press for demands related to their service conditions, including pensions, promotions, and permanency in jobs, claiming that these policies stand in stark violation of not only the Statutes and Ordinances of the University of Delhi but also of UGC Regulations which have stipulated maximum 10% for such vacancies and also go against the spirit of various court judgements and violates the fundamental rights of the affected teachers including the right to equal wage for equal work. “Various State Governments have initiated such processes of regularization for teachers in their State Universities through notified executive orders. Even the Government of NCT, Delhi, through the Governing Bodies in the colleges maintained by the Delhi Government, has shown willingness towards the process of regularization: many of these Governing Bodies have passed resolutions recommending a one-time absorption of all working temporary/ad-hoc teachers which now needs sanction from the UGC and the MHRD. In 2009, the UGC had asked Universities/Institutes to absorb UGC Research Scientists working in the units.


Today, when over 50% population is below the age of 25 years, it is important to strengthen public funded educational institutions. Infrastructure development and maintaining adequate teachers’ number are essential for quality education. It is important that University and its colleges, which serve lakhs of students from across the country, are stabilized through permanent faculty,” DUTA said. 


DUTA recommends that the UGC should frame a specific Regulation as a one-time measure for the absorption of the temporary/ad-hoc teachers in the University: a provision for teachers to be absorbed against vacancies which are approved and earmarked according to the DoPT Reservation Roster for teaching positions. Their ongoing struggle has led to the MHRD to recognize that no adhoc teacher be removed until permanent recruitment is done.


Feature image credits: Satviki Sanjay for DU Beat

Shreya Juyal

[email protected]



The Union Budget 2020 released by the Government has left Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) highly dismayed for not addressing their proposals and grievances even after a series of strikes and protests.

The union budget 2020 passed by the Government has left the DUTA extremely disappointed for not paying heed to the deepening crisis in public-funded higher education. Despite the strikes by the professors of University of Delhi (DU), the Government, in its budgetary allocation, still continues on its path of privatization by reducing grants and promoting a loan funded education through allocating a greater budget, with an increase of 100 crores to Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA). A large part of it is earmarked for expensive bureaucratic schemes such as world-class universities and others, causing fear of promotion in disparity and institutional hierarchy in the sector. The budget also encourages commercialisation and obstructs the traditional classroom teaching by mentioning a separate provision for full online degree programs.


Image Credits: DU Beat Archives

Amrita Ajay, a professor from English department, Maitreyi college says, “I am not sure if it’s going to be a good model as there is no substitute for classroom teaching, in the world the MOOC’s have only taken up these causes but, I don’t know how far these online degrees contribute in terms of their knowledge increasing.” She further says that she is a little apprehensive for the same. The aggregate increase in the budgetary allocation for higher education from INR 38317 crores to INR 39466 crores presents a marginal increase of 2.79 % and from this as well a large part of the money is earmarked for expenditure which is of no direct benefit for students or teachers. There is also a reduction in the grants allocation for central universities from INR 2593 crores to INR 2298 crores.

Rajib Ray, DUTA President said, “The DUTA fears that the slashing of grants in higher education will affect permanent recruitments and promotions of teachers across central universities. These universities are already being filled to push a large number of vacancies with short term contractual appointments instead of attracting and retaining academic talent.” He further continued, “This scenario will eventually lead to a sharper decline in the quality and academic standards of these institutions.” The Economic survey clearly points out that this model of education deprives the students belonging to financially middling and poor families of higher educational studies.

The corporate greed and interest in having financial institutions have left the Government completely blind to the widespread protests in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), University of Hyderabad (UoH), DU, and other universities against the increment in the tuition fees, along with hostel and mess charges. The budget pushes the traditionally worshipped teachers to the lowest of the priority list as it allocates greater funds to begin virtual classrooms associated with the online degree programs. This somewhere, even highlights that the need to maintain and upgrade classrooms, laboratories, and libraries would be ignored and will stand in high contrast to the Government’s scheme of world-class type universities.

With respect to the Government’s model of having a loan sponsored higher education system, the DUTA president said, ” the lessons of the US debt crisis, in which the share of unrecovered student loans was extremely large, does not seem to have gone home. The substitution of direct subsidy by loans may assist private financiers in the short term, but it is a recipe for a disaster waiting to happen.”

Feature image caption: DUTA strike against the recommendation of 7th pay revision.

Feature image credits:  DU Beat 

Kriti Gupta 

[email protected] 


On 10th January 2020, University of Delhi (DU) teachers marched from Mandi House to the Parliament Street demanding absorption of all teachers, promotion and pension among other issues. Following them Courting-Arrest, Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) office bearers were invited to meet the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) Secretary, UGC Chairperson and Jt. Secretary, MHRD at the Ministry.

Releasing a Press Release, DUTA Office Bearers expressed their discontentment with MHRD’s failure in the implementation of the 5 December Record of Discussions in entirety. The officials have expressed their commitment to implement the same. In this context, DUTA representatives pointed out the inaction on the Vice Chancellor (VC)’s part in implementing the 5th December Record of Discussions with respect to releasing option forms and initiating the promotion process. They also pointed out the non-implementation of the proposed relief on screening criteria and counting of past services.

The release of additional Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) expansions on student-teacher ratio along with University’s (in)action to ensure that no ad hoc is displaced due to the EWS reservation until permanent appointments are made; were also raised.

Dr Agnitra Ghosh, Professor, Kamla Nehru College, Member of DUTA, told DU Beat, “The ruling regime is hell bent on pushing more and more policies of contractualization to destroy public universities. And the DUTA and faculty members of DU are fighting against that. The entire system of ad hocism has created a situation of employment without any security and dignity. Now, the admin further wanted to downgrade ad hoc position to guest, which was resisted. For the last 10 years, DU faculty members have been denied promotions. A university can’t run in this way without basic minimum facilities provided to it’s faculty members. But DU teachers are consistently fighting back and we have also received overwhelming solidarity from the student community of DU.”

With regard to the association’s key demand, one-time absorption of temporary ad-hoc teachers, MHRD stated that only Governemt should take a decision on the same. DUTA expressed their disapproval and sought justness of the fact that several thousand young teachers have been languishing for long years without permanent jobs.

Discussing over the release of the corrected concordance tables for revision of pensions, DUTA officials were informed that the matter was presented before the Finance Ministry. Demand for the withdrawal of the letter dated 21.04.2019 to the University by MHRD was also raised, for which they were asked to pursue the matter with the Finance Ministry.

Apart from this, DUTA submitted a memorandum stating the other long-standing demand of teachers, the resolution of the UGC Regulations 2018, which has a direct bearing on the pending promotions. DUTA officials also expressed their opposition to the Draft New Education Policy 2019’s anti-education recommendations, uniting against the corporatisation of higher education. DUTA reiterated their demand for the VC’s resignation.

Since 4th December 2019, Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) has been on an indefinite strike and a 24-hour indefinite dharna outside the Vice Chancellor’s Office seeking absorption, promotion and pension for ad hocs and temporary staff.

Feature Image Credits: Hindustan Times

Anandi Sen
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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]

The Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) organised a massive protest on December 4 and December 5 in light of the ad-hoc crisis. The protest was in the form of  ‘VC Gherao’ where more than 8000 teachers stormed into the VC (Vice Chancellor) Office. After the protest’s intensity, the circular issued on August 28, 2019 has been amended. 

The Delhi University Teachers’ Association showed great distress against the circular issued on 28th August 2019 which led to dismissal of 4500 ad-hoc teachers from their teaching service in the University. On 3rd December, 2019, The DUTA office bearers held a meeting at 6 p.m. wherein they decided that due to lack of communication from Professor Yogesh Tyagi, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Delhi (DU), they will give the administration extra 10 hours to resolve the on-going crisis and inform the DUTA about the same. Failure to do so, the DUTA will go on an indefinite strike, boycotting all invigilation, evaluation and any other official duties from 4th December onwards.

The DUTA collaborated with the staff association of various colleges to completely boycott the exam duties as families of 4500 teachers were at stake. However, DUTA requested the teachers not to stop students from taking exams. The administration along with Vice Chancellor remained silent on the entire issue and provided no relief to the teachers which led to the massive protest on 4th December.

On 4th December 2019, the DUTA began with its ‘indefinite strike’ outside the Vice Chancellor’s Office in the North Campus of the University at 11 a.m. Over 8000 teachers participated in the massive protest in the form of VC Gherao on DUTA’s call in response to ongoing crisis.

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Image Caption:Teachers gathered in large number outside the VC Office on the first day of the protest

Image Credits: Anoushka Sharma for DU Beat

Teachers raised slogans such as “Inquilab Zindabaad” and “DU VC shame shame” throughout the day. Teachers also reached out to the masses through the social media to raise awareness about the issue and apprise the students of the cause beyond the exam boycott.

The teachers went through and occupied the Council Hall where Academic Council and Executive Council meetings are held.

“Thank you, VC, for not caring about 4500 Families”, “VC communicate” and “Lodge was stormed in 1984 and 2019” were written all over the walls of the Council Hall to show the dissent of the teachers.

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Teachers scribble their dissent on the walls of the VC Office

Several student organisations such as the All India Students’ Union (AISA), Krantikari Yuva Sangathan (KYS) and Student Federation of India (SFI) extended their solidarity to the teachers and even joined the protest. The Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP) led Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) also organised protests and condemned the actions of the Vice Chancellor.

At 6:45 P.M. , Many hours after the occupation of the lodge, the VC showed no sign of communication. The police tried to stop the food arrangements made by DUTA  for the raging protesters. At 9 P.M., DUTA kept its coordination meeting and decided to keep the strike on with the use of candles and torches.

On December 5, the strike continued outside the VC Lodge with all the teachers protesting relentlessly. Due to the earlier day’s protest, the Administration called the police forces for security. As per sources, the police performed a lathi march on the teachers to stop them from entering the building. Allegedly many of the teachers along with students got injured in the ruckus.

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Image Caption: The second day of the protest saw immense barricading and police force deployment as the teachers continued with their demands

Image Credits:Yadu Ushanandani

A meeting was held at 4 p.m. and a circular was released by the Ministry of Human Resource Development in light of the ad-hoc crisis.
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The circular released by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India

At 7 P.M. on the same day, DUTA was promised by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) that no teacher would lose their job because of the August 28 letter. Due to the meeting of DUTA executives with the MHRD, a circular was released that proposed immediate changes in criteria and appointment of the academic staff and promised to launch new additional teaching positions under the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) in no less than 30 days.

However, while DUTA celebrated a kind of victory, the DUTA Executive decided to keep a meeting on 6th December 2019 and kept the protest on with their continued demand for the absorption for all teachers.

On 6th December 2019, the extended DUTA Executive Meeting was held at 2 p.m. to review the next course of action.  After the meeting ended, Seema Das, Member of the Academic Council quoted, “Friends, we think that we have not gained any substantive achievement on any issue, not even the issue of withdrawal of 28th August letter. Rather, it has now become more confusing and makes it subject to interpretation by the head of institution. Besides, nothing concrete is gained on promotion and other issues. Status quo is maintained. At least some concrete step towards Absorption was what we were looking for out of this unprecedented movement. In such situation, I am doing my best to carry on with this fight along with a few dedicated activists and ad-hoc colleagues. Need support from you all.”

Meanwhile, the strike at the VC Office and the exam duty boycott continues with the request for the absorption for all teachers.


Feature Image Credits: Yadu Ushanandani

Chhavi Bahmba 

[email protected]


The Delhi University Teacher’s Association (DUTA) held an emergent meeting at Tuesday, 24th October 2019 to discuss the varsity’s twin move to create an “Institute of Eminence” within it and replace its various statutory bodies like Executive Council by an all-powerful Board of Governors.

DUTA had a meeting wherein recent issues of key importance were discussed. The meeting’s main motive was to formalise the arguments against the decision and submit the same to the University Administration expressing their concerns while also highlighting the possible consequences.

The concept of the institute of eminence is taken as a pathway for better education, however, a thorough understanding of the label is required. Here is an explanation of the same.

The status of institute of eminence will take place with the formation of 9 autonomous centres and the replacement with a separate board of directors. The exercise in creating a separate list of Institutions is geared towards promoting a special economic zone for Higher Education brands that may pursue commercial aims with impunity and without any public accountability, said DUTA. The organisation was responding to the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry decision to grant ‘Institutes of Eminence’ status to 6 institutions.

Along with the University of Delhi, the government granted ‘Institutions of Eminence’ (IoEs) status to IIT-Delhi, IIT-Bombay and the Bengaluru-based Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in the public sector, and Manipal Academy of Higher Education, BITS Pilani and Jio Institute by Reliance Foundation in the private sector.

Talking about IOE, to give the institute of eminence within the University of Delhi (DU) will lead to disintegration. DUTA’s discussion was pointed towards how currently, the entire University has been awarded the status of IoE, and it is shared by all the institutions, faculty members and stakeholders jointly. But once an independent parallel structure within it is declared as IoE, it will receive the entire limelight and government patronage leading to disintegration of unity among the institutions.

The DUTA is also opposing the University Administration’s decision to do away with the current administrative or statutory bodies of the university such as the Executive Council and Academic Council with an all-powerful Board of Governors. University has decided to advance the timeline of setting up a Board of Governors in line with the New Education Policy 2019, because of the following reasons:

The new Board of Governors will not be accountable to anyone within the university. Instead, the Board of Governors will only be accountable to the Rashtriya Shiksha Aayog, which is a cause for concern. In addition to this, the members of the Board of Governors will be nominated and not elected, from outside the university, which again calls for caution.

Talking about the advancement of plans to implement the Draft New Education Policy from 2020 to October 2019 itself, DUTA said, “This timeline seeks to do away with the statutory bodies like Executive Council, Academic Council, departmental councils and college staff council by the constitution of all-powerful BOGs (Board of Governors).”

DU is going to implement this BOG-ruled autonomous structure within the varsity in the  garb of eminence, where this institute would receive a grant of INR 1000 crore in 10 years from the Centre directly and their matters will never undergo the critical scrutiny from the EC, AC or Finance Committee which raises a bigger motive for privatization.

“The ’eminence’ tag is being used to dismantle the university when the government money should have benefited the entire university and improved its infrastructure” DUTA said allegedly.

The question is hand is why the university administration is taking such dire steps, going against their unions to implement this.

In a conversation with Abha Dev Habib, Office bearer, DUTA, she told DU Beat, as an answer to the above question, “It’s all just a big facade for privatization, commercialisation and corporatization of education. Whether they call it graded university, new education policy or institute of eminence, it’s just privatization, where there will be fee hikes, all in the name of profit.” She also said, “There will be a serious loss of accountability and greater disintegration.”

DUTA also criticized the way some private institutions have been selected as Institutes of Eminence.

The Government had received more than 100 applications for the grant of IoE status. Under Public Sector, the following have applied for the scheme-

  • 10 central universities
  • 25 state universities
  • 6 deemed to be universities
  • 20 institutions of national importance
  • 6 standalone institutions

As for the private sector, 9 private universities and 16 deemed to be universities have applied in the Brownfield category and 8 institutions have applied in the Greenfield category.

Existing standalone institutions which are not universities or deemed-to-be-varsities were allowed to apply under Greenfield category for Institution of Eminence status to avail greater autonomy and get a world-class reputation.

DUTA has been quite vocal in presenting their resentment against the proposal. Many staff associations along with students throughout the varsity have protested against this proposal and the new education policy.

Where colleges like Ramjas college went on a ten-day dharna, other colleges like Gargi college and Kamla Nehru college formed a human chain to show their resistance.


Staff association and students of Gargi college and Kamala Nehru College come together and form a long queue of protest against the privatization of University of Delhi with slogans like “Education is not for sale”. Video by Avni Dhawan for DU Beat

After the emergent meeting that took place on Tuesday where all the arguments were formalised, DUTA has rejected the proposal. It was rejected on the grounds that it involves a push towards privatisation of education as confessed by Mr. Prakash Javadekar while announcing it for the first time as Graded Autonomy for universities and grant of IoE status. He had confessed that these steps constitute the initiation of liberalisation in the education sector.

“It also gives the University the freedom to determine fees for domestic students subject to one meaningless rider. The rider is a principle that no one will be turned away for his/her incapacity to pay. In the absence of any guideline on how high the fees are and the means criteria to be entitled to fee waiver/scholarship. Loans binding their future would become the only effective mechanism.” said DUTA in their press release.

The DUTA Executive also took a decision to call for a Total Shutdown of the University on Friday, 25th October 2019 and a Dharna from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. outside the Executive Council meeting to protest against this move and also to demand the withdrawal of the 28th August 2019 letter asking for guest appointments to be made against all new vacancies.

Feature Image Credits: Abha Dev Habib

Chhavi Bahmba

[email protected]

The Delhi government turned a blind eye to the written request made by the ad-hoc teachers of the University to ensure the renewal of their term from 20th July 2019 and demand funds for the creation of new teaching posts. In retrospection, the office bearers, the karamcharis and the active faculty members of the Delhi University Teachers’ Association flocked the streets in front of the University Grants Commission office to express their discontent and demand immediate action.

On the 16th July 2019, the office bearers, members of the Delhi University Karamchari Union along with the members of the Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) protested  against the government and the University administration.

The protest started around 11:30 a.m. on Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg and carried on till 01:30 p.m. Chants of azaadi, “DU VC Down Down!”, “UGC Barbaad Ho!”, and “Hum Apna Adhikaar Maangte!” echoed as a handful of students and a large group of teachers joined the protest led by DUTA President, Dr. Rajib Ray, and DUTA Treasurer, Dr. Najma Remani, to protest the existing system ad hoc appointments, rampant corruption in the provision of Development Fund to colleges by the Vice Chanellor,  and demand timely promotions, permanent appointments for job security and service benefits, release of grants for creating new teaching posts and accommodating the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) expansion and to force stop the commercialisation of Higher Education imparted at the University of Delhi by pestering colleges to accept loans from Higher Education Funding Association (HEFA) for funding expenses on infrastructural development.

The past three weeks have remained flooded with tense conversation between DUTA and the Delhi government. On talking to professors about their struggle, Dr. Debolina, an ad-hoc professor at Ramjas College said, “The administration is just trying to create a huge pool of disposable people which it can use and then throw away when it gets a cheaper substitute. I have no security of my job as a professor; I don’t get any perks, any promotions, or service benefits. We have been protesting this culture of ‘demanding gratitude’ and ‘forcing obedience’ on us for a while now and there has been no response. If I don’t have a job for the next three months, I am going to fall in the EWS category.”

“The Delhi government has finally agreed upon paying the salaries of professors in 12 colleges funded by them and its 5% share of the development expenses but that is not enough. The 12 colleges including some premier institutions like Vivekanand College and Moti Lal Neru College also need funds for facilitating the EWS expansion and to have a higher teaching staff to meet the greater student intake in this academic session. None of this has been addressed by the Deputy Chief Minister, who also holds the Office of the Education Department, at the DHE meeting held on 12th and 15th July respectively. Although they have made a verbal commitment about releasing the 2nd tranche of OBC expansions, there is still no paperwork for it,” said Dr. Rajib Ray, President of DUTA.

Dr Swati, a professor from the Department of Germanic and Romance Studies said, “I have been on an ad-hoc appointment in the department for 12 years, and every time the University releases the applications for making permanent appointments, they refuse to entertain past experience. This has forced me to be working on such an uncertain job where I don’t know whether I will be teaching the students I am teaching now, at this time next year. Somewhere this has also impacted student psychology because they see their teachers coming and going after break-years.” “This has further created a situation where students have now started to make a choice of college not according to the best faculty but according to the most stable faculty,” said Dr. S. K. Kaushik, Professor of Mathematics, Kirori Mal College, further adding that the sole reason for this is the ‘absence of willingness of the government and the University administration’.

Despite the blazing heat, all professors matched their voices in solidarity against the fraudulent system of the University. Seeing ‘gurus’ demanding their rights, it makes one wonder, is this system really democratic and fair? If it is, then why does this democratic system turn a blind eye to the cause of its building blocks? Will the system not collapse if these building blocks disintegrate? Time will tell us, whether DU too will collapse in its essence like other Central and State Universities, or will its prestige, that comes from its strong, qualified experienced and highly intellectual teaching staff, be maintained.

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat Archives

Yaksh Handa

[email protected]

A ‘Bharat Bandh’ was organised on 5th March, Tuesday in protest against the 13 point roster system of teachers’ appointments and the Supreme Court order on tribal evictions. Various organisations, parties and leaders supported it.

Thousands of students, teachers, political figures and Dalit and Adivasi activists, among others, marched in different parts of the country demanding ordinances by the government against the 13 point roster system of faculty appointments and the recent Supreme Court order on evictions of tribal and forest dwellers.

5 March marked the one year anniversary of the 13 point roster system, the notification for which was first made by the University Grants Commission (UGC) on 5 March 2018, following an April 2017 order by the Allahabad High Court.

The 13 point roster system had been one of the major focal points of university protests over the last few months. Teachers and students alike had been protesting against the system, which was seen as a measure that could drastically reduce the number of SC/ST/OBC teachers in universities.

The Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) had held sustained protests over the last few weeks including organising a human chain, a candlelight vigil and a “total strike” demanding an ordinance by the government to restore the old 200 point roster system.

Another controversial issue had been the 13 February Supreme Court order directing the states to evict those tribals and forest dwellers whose claims over forest land were rejected as per the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act of 2006. However, hearing pleas from the Union Tribal Affairs Ministry and the Gujarat government, the apex court put a stay on its order on 28 February. The initial order was expected to affect over 11 lakh tribals and forest dwellers.

Despite the stay, Dalit and Adivasi rights’ organisation – wary of the possibility that the stay order could get overturned – called for the Bandh, demanding an ordinance from the centre to protect their rights.

The call for the Bandh drew widespread support from various political parties. According to a press release made by DUTA on Tuesday, “prominent opposition leaders like Ali Anwar, Manoj Jha (RJD), Nilotpal Basu (CPI[M]), Kiran Walia (INC) etc” joined the association’s rally, which also “drew support from the Left parties, Samajwadi Party, Aam Aadmi Party and Bhim Army.”

According to Times of India, Adivasi Adhikar Andolan, All India Ambedkar Mahasabha and Samvidhan Bachao Sangharsh Samiti were among the groups which had called for a march from Mandi House to Jantar Mantar in Delhi on Tuesday.

Other organisations like All India Forum for Social Justice, All India Forum for Right to Education, Krantikari Yuva Sangathan etc were also a part of the protests.

As reported by The Indian Express, Ashok Bharti from the All India Ambedkar Mahasabha said, “Most leaders except for (BSP chief) Mayawati have supported the issues we raised; there has been no statement from her or her party. If the government fails to bring in either of the two ordinances before the model code of conduct is announced, we will declare our further course of action.”

Several political leaders including Rahul Gandhi, Akhilesh Yadav, Manoj Jha, Tejashwi Yadav, Ram Vilas Paswan tweeted or gave statements backing the protests, the report also said.

‘#5MarchBharatBandh’ trended widely on Twitter with over 30 thousand tweets by the night of 4 March.

Responding to the protests, Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar on Tuesday said, “Few groups have decided to agitate. I would like to assure them that they need not agitate, the government will do justice. We will bring the 200-point reservation roster and how we will do it will be clear within two days,” PTI reported.

Prior to this, the Supreme Court had rejected a special leave petition by the HRD Ministry against the Allahabad High Court’s order, following which it also dismissed a review petition filed by the Ministry.

The DUTA press release also mentioned that the association would await the government’s response and review its strike programme on 8 March, Friday.

Ms Abha Dev Habib, former Executive Councillor of Delhi University, while speaking to DU Beat, said, “It is important to have constitutionally mandated representation in teaching positions. Department-wise roster will mean that not only the first generation of teachers from ST/SC and OBC will be pushed out but also aspiring researchers and students will not find space in colleges and universities. This is so to keep them out from knowledge production and opportunity of leadership roles. The whole idea of reservation was to bring marginalised sections to the mainstream to strengthen democracy.”

Asked about whether the protests went as she had expected, Ms Habib said that she came back “full of optimism” as the “young are determined to fight for their rights!”

Feature Image credits – Abha Dev Habib, DUTA

Prateek Pankaj
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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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In a move that will come as a relief to thousands of final year students awaiting their semester 6 results for purposes that include VISA applications and Masters’ applications, the Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) decided to exempt the evaluation of the answer scripts of the erstwhile FYUP, that is, final year students from its protest action of evaluation boycott. At the same time, it has called for an intensification of protest and movement for the roll back of the API based promotion scheme.

The recent protests by DUTA resulted in the government backing out on the recent policy that would have resulted in an increase in the teaching hours required from each teacher, and would also lead to potential loss of employment for several of them. However, the government decided to continue with the API based promotion scheme, which, according to DUTA has proven to adversely affect teaching and learning. Another reason cited for the intensification of protests is the denial of permanent appointments and promotions of teachers for the last several years.

The intensification of protest will impact the first and the second year students, with the continued boycott of the evaluation of their answer scripts. It will also have serious ramifications for the upcoming admission process, with DUTA vowing to boycott all aspects of it.

Feature Image: The Hindu

Shubham Kaushik

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