On Saturday, 4th January, the Delhi University Teacher’s Association (DUTA) staged a twelve hour ‘standing dharna’ from 12 noon to midnight to protest against the inhuman treatment meted out by the university against the security guards. The dharna was held outside the Arts Faculty gate in North Campus.

Nandita Narain, the DUTA president expressed her views, “The main reason behind this dharna is the ongoing inhumane behavior in some or the other way in the University. There are basically three issues that we raised; Physical torture of guards, restoration of Panditji’s dhaba and  termination of South Campus’s Security Officer and his wife who was a library employee simultaneously without any appropriate reason. We, at DUTA, demand that these services should be restored and enquired upon.”


According to DUTA, no reason has been assigned for the removal of the security officer, but could possibly be linked to the fact that the officer, who had worked for 11 years, had not allowed the exit of a truck carrying illegally felled trees.

Their demands, as per the press release, are restoration of chairs and other facilities so that the guards get basic humane working conditions, reinstatement of the dhaba and return of the fine collected from Panditji, the reinstatement of the security officer and his wife, and also an enquiry into the illegal felling of trees and the officials responsible.

The protest, which involves large numbers of teachers, students and karamcharis, was also joined by the Jana Natya Manch, who staged a street play. The DUTA has also written to the National Human Rights Commission regarding the issue.

By Vani Vivek ([email protected]) and Shaily Sharma ([email protected]).

On 30th December 2013, the Delhi University Teacher’s Association again intensified its protest insisting its demand for withdrawal of illegal suspension of two teachers of Hindu College. The dharna was staged jointly by DUTA and Joint Karmchari Union outside the venue of the meeting of the Governing Body.

Teachers from various colleges assembled there and turned into a gherao when they came to know that the Chairman had refused to allow a discussion on the matter even under ‘any other business with the permission of the chair’. The college authorities even called up the police but the protesters didn’t stir and continued the gherao even till 9 p.m. in the night.

A delegation of office bearers of DUTA, DUCKU and the Hindu College Staff Association, which also included the newly elected MLA of AAP and Secretary of DUTA, Dr. Harish Khanna made a fervent appeal for withdrawal of suspension to the members of Governing Body. A memorandum was presented which laid emphasis on the reply of teachers, the report of Grievance Committee and the resolution of Staff Association at the end of meeting with the Governing Body.

“The college management and university authorities have falsely fabricated the minor issue in a disproportionate, one-sided and high handed manner. It is a pre-meditated design to create disaffection between teachers where only one party is held guilty. The malafide and biased behaviour of the Chairman in collusion with the Vice-Chancellor, who had approved of the suspension, was part of a larger agenda to create disaffection within the faculty”, said Nandita Narain, President of Delhi University Teacher’s Association.

The members of the Governing Body have agreed to hold a special meeting around 12th January after the gherao built up strongly so that the matter could be resolved.  The dharna was called off after the Chairman of Governing Body, Mr. Punj came out and assured the teachers and karmcharis gathered outside to hold the meeting. The protest was stopped on the understanding that the dharna will be further intensified if the suspension was not withdrawn on that day following the assurance offered by Mr. Punj.

In what appears to be a very comprehensive reform in Delhi University, students are set to evaluate the teachers from the next semester starting in January. The Vice Chancellor Dinesh Singh has come out with this measure where every teacher will be evaluated twice or thrice every semester. Confidentiality of the feedback will be maintained in the evaluation system by students according to him.
This evaluation will be decisive factor for the promotion of teachers and would be made part of teacher’s files. Teachers will be judged on factors like quality of teaching, regularity in taking classes and innovation in manner of teaching. The new feedback system is called ‘holistic and formal’ by the Vice Chancellor of Delhi University.

When DUTA was asked on their take at this new system, President Nandita Narain expressed her disillusionment. In a telephonic conversation to DU Beat she said, “It is a very dangerous quid pro quo situation and only the teachers would be blamed. There is no provision about monitoring and authenticity of the students’ feedback for teachers. Teachers were not consulted in this decision and the VC is running the university like a mafia. When the teachers don’t have the right to design the courses, how could they be held accountable? It makes no sense and we will certainly oppose this insensitive bureaucratic device.”

She also said, “This measure is nothing but a retaliatory action to the student feedback exercise undertaken by DUTA earlier this month at several colleges. More than 90% students are in favour of 3 year UG system and opposed the FYUP vehemently in their feedback. Now the VC wants to harass teachers with this tool as a tit for tat measure.”

Mrs Neeru Kapoor, a professor at Delhi College of Arts & Commerce said, “This system can be effective only when the students are mature enough and give their judgement properly. Right now our university is in a chaotic situation with the FYUP and semester system and genuine teachers will be penalised if the evaluation system is not genuine. How can a student who does not attend 60% classes decide on the effectiveness of a teacher?”

Another teachers’ body Academics for Action and Development (AAD) has also condemned the university administration and called it a regressive measure where complexities of caste, gender, religion and region come into operation and may result in harassment of teachers.

“I think this new system will be good if implemented well. Teachers will be more regular so as to teach us certain concepts which we are not familiar with. If they teach us using models, projects, through physical demonstration or case studies, then we’ll be able to grasp the course easily by these innovative methods”, said Vijay, a student of FYUP in Delhi University.

On Friday, 19th December 2013, the Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA) brought out a dharna at Hindu College counterclaiming the withdrawal of the suspension of two teachers of the college. The Staff Association of the college as well as many teachers from other colleges accompanied the DUTA in staging the same. In fact, there was unanimous support from the Staff Association of Daulat Ram College through means of an official delegation.

The two teachers – Mr. Jai Inderpal Singh and Mr. Arvind Chaudhry, allegedly manhandled some colleagues in a meeting of the Staff Association on 27th August 2013. On 25th September 2013, show cause notices were sent to these teachers by Mr. SNP Punj, the Chairman of the Governing Body. This memo asked both of them, the reason for not taking any action against them for maltreating their colleagues in that meeting with 25th October 2013 as the deadline for their reply. The notice also contained the complaint filed by the individuals who were supposedly manhandled.

On 12th October 2013, Mr. Punj released another notice to both the teachers stating their suspension, although their response to the previous notice hadn’t been received by that time. The response and proceedings taken by the Governing Body were rendered illegal by the representatives of the teachers as well as called them ‘against the principles of natural justice’.

On 23rd October, the two teachers lodged a complaint that was forwarded by the Acting Principal of the college to a Grievance Committee, which in turn held the suspension unwarranted and the complaint as false.

Nandita Narain, President of DUTA says “The decision should be quite clear at the level of the governing authorities but their decision is absolutely ridiculous. It’s a case where inner differences of the college teachers are being exploited showing larger politics at higher level. This is a step that is taken by the Vice Chancellor to gain control over the teachers’ union. The innocent who took a stand against a tainted nexus, have been victimized. We want the withdrawal of this suspension and an apology to these teachers and we’ll continue our protest till the two get justice”

The Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) held a press conference at their office on Monday in order to make public the feedback they received from students of Miranda House College, St. Stephen’s College, SRCC, Dyal Singh College and the Germanic and Romance Study with regard to the Four Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP). Initially DUTA President Nandita Narain drew attention to the AISA referendum conducted earlier this year. This referendum in overwhelming numbers of student votes rejected the FYUP. She then went on to attack the official feedback survey undertaken by the University officials and called it a skewed exercise as it did not give the student any real scope to express opinion against the FYUP. Moreover the feedback was never made public, which makes it safe to assume that the students still went on to out rightly reject the FYUP. The DUTA in its attempt to conduct a fair survey devised its own questionnaire and received feedback from a total of 930 students out of which 570 belong to Miranda House, 212 students are from St Stephens and 148 from SRCC. The data collected from Dyal Singh College and from the students studying in the Faculty of Germanic and Romance Studies was not available as all feedback forms had not been returned, but the data shall be available soon was the reassurance.

The students of the above mentioned colleges rejected the University’s claim of increased employability under the new system. 88% students from Miranda House and 73% from SRCC believed that the Foundation Courses (FCs) were nothing but a refurbished format of what was already taught in school. This led to 86% of Miranda students and 89% of SRCC students saying that there was no use of the FCs in the course of learning. Students also voiced their concerns about how the FCs gave them no time or scope to study the DC I courses- the ones they had actually opted for in college. The question of striking a balance between studies and extracurricular activities also seemed like a ‘dream’ to many students present. Meriam from St. Stephens said that due to long hours of classes under the FYUP they were left with little to no time to take part in the co- curricular activities that they liked.


Dr. Renu Arora and Dr. Abha Dev Habib- professors from Miranda House along with Arini Kar and Deepika Bisht from Miranda voiced the many concerns of teachers and students. The system of having about 55 marks out of 75 as internal assessment was questioned again. With an average of 100 students on roll in a class, the teacher would only be toying with the student’s result in case he or she is unable to recall the class performance of each and every student. It was also told how the lack of proper study/ research material made project work nothing but a sham. The laptops distribution exercise was mocked by calling it ‘a pacifier to a crying baby’ by Alisha from Dyal Singh College.

Other concerns raised were that from the point of view of outstation students. Given that the cost of living in Delhi averages out to be 1 to 1.5 lakhs a year for an outstation student. The additional 4th year would doubly burden these students and their families, it must be noted that this sample is made up by students coming from varying social and economic abilities. Dr. Virat and Dr. Vikas, professors from Dyal Singh college chipped in by saying that the teachers also reject the FYUP alongside the students. Moreover they turned their attention to the problems faced by differently abled students, especially those who are visually challenged. They said that there was a lack of accessibility to the new study material and teachers of FCs were not given any special training in order to deal with such challenges. Dr. Vikas said that this system should have been reconsidered instead of it being imposed in a top down manner. Adding to this, Dr. Virat told us how the voices of the real stakeholders- students and teachers- is to be taken into account.

The DUTA in this situation proposes the following things. First of all a full roll back of the FYUP and a complete U- turn to the Annual system. This is proposed for the next batch of students, that is the incoming batch of 2014- 15. For the current batch that is already in this system, DUTA suggests that the number of FCs to be cut down considerably if not removed and the course be restructured to make DC I and DC II courses more dominant. Also, the fourth year should be made optional covering more ‘applied and hands on courses in the 4th year.’ The DUTA also criticized the mid course exit points option by calling it a farce, their demand is that even this should be done away with.

The DUTA reassured students and teachers by saying that even though the University administration refused to acknowledge its mistakes, the DUTA shall constantly intensify its efforts in reversing these wrongdoings, its aim is to ultimately do away with the FYUP and bring back the 3 year Annual System, with retention of B. A., B. Com. And B. Sc. Programme courses.

DUTA’s suggestion for the current batch of the FYUP, they hope to get implemented by the 2nd year that is 3rd semester of the current batch:



First Year


Second Year



Third Year






Fourth Year

Applied/ Research Courses- optional.

Recently, the University of Delhi ordained that the security guards employed by it would not be given any infrastructural aid while they would be on duty. As a matter of fact even chairs are not being provided by DU and it has closed down all the guard rooms.

Delhi University Teacher’s Association (DUTA) in its press release has categorically condemned such a decision and has called it savage. The reasons behind this order are still unknown, although there are some speculations. According to DUTA, when they asked for a reply for the same, the university did not give satisfactory responses. It transfered the burden on the contracting agencies and said that it has nothing to do with same and is only plying to the rules given to it by the agencies.

When DUTA posed more questions to DU, one of them being, “Why aren’t the guards who are employed by DU without a contractual agreement not being provided with infrastructural facilities?”, the University had no answers for the same.

“Such a mandate is outrageous and barbarous”, said Nandita Narain, president of DUTA. “University must give clear answers for the same.”, she added.

On the 23rd of November, members of the Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA) were barred from entering the Aurobindo College campus by the police, and allegedly on order of the College principal. The clashes were just short of being classified as violent, with police manhandling and rowdy conduct by temporary teachers towards DUTA officials, which the latter claims was ordered by the principal.

The primary reason was these clashes is said to be the problematic appointment of the Vice Principal of the college, whose appointment was made without interviews, and in disrespect of the ‘’norms of seniority among Associate Professors of the college’’, according to the DUTA press release dated 6th December 2013. The DUTA claims that despite the reassurances they received from the college, the Governing Body appointed a teacher as Vice Principal without holding any interviews.

For the DUTA, this violation of norms (that of the appointment of VP taking place by rotation according to seniority) does not only disregard a long standing convention, but is also unfair to incumbent Vice Principal Dr. Meenakshi Gupta, who was removed mid way through her term.

No information has been received from the side of the college administration, but these clashes are only yet another sign of the Vice Chancellor’s administration being almost always at odds with students and teachers organizations across the university.

Recently, we interviewed the Secretary of Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) about the organisation, its views on the FYUP, the issue of ad hoc professors in the university, the Vice Chancellor’s Office and a lot more. Here is the entire interview for our audience to listen and to read. [soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/103948776″ params=”” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” auto_play=”true” /] DUB : Mr Siddiqui, to start off, can you tell us a little about DUTA as an organization – what are its main goals and principles? DUTA: The Objectives of DUTA are to ensure smooth academic functioning in the university and academic growth and to ensure security in the service conditions of teachers alongside maintaining academic standards of the university. DUB: While so many teachers, students even administrative staff have been protesting against FYUP, the programme is still coming in with the start of the new semester. Where does DUTA stand on the programme? What were the main reasons for DUTA to protest against the FYUP in the first place and what do you think can go wrong now that it is being implemented? DUTA: Actually, any institution of higher education, we have to understand, it is neither a mill nor a corporate office, and here the environment is entirely different, and whatever is done in the university is done with the active participation and cooperation of teachers, authorities, students and karamcharis. Unfortunately, off late what has been happening is that this culture of the university which has been obtained with great care and devotion has been given a go by and things are moving in a highly partisan, non participatory and dictatorial fashion. There are university bodies, so many agencies and levels of decision making like the departments, the faculties, the academic council, the executive council, the general body of concerned teachers of a particular department. But in the process of decision making, the participation of all these bodies and the teachers who are the people who teach when there are changed courses are not being consulted in a way they ought to be consulted. That is the problem. And therefore the courses are coming in a half baked and haphazard manner, in a manner that the goodness and the propriety of these courses is not ensured. DUB: So as an organisation, DUTA is against the FYUP completely? DUTA : Let us not say we are against something which we do not know, something about which there has been no participative consultation and discussion. How can we say we are against it? We are saying, whatever changes you bring, bring them in a democratic manner with the due processes of law. But that is not happening. And the various agencies are being taken for a ride. DUB: How is the new system is going to affect the students? DUTA: I feel the educational standard of Delhi University is being made a mockery of. I am not against reform, reforms are welcome, and nothing is as important as change. But change in what manner, I decide something and impose it upon you, and you are people directly concerned, and say we are not seeking your opinion, you have to study this and teach this from this year. From where are the courses coming? DUB: What about teacher workload and the student teacher ratio – how is that going to be affected by the FYUP? DUTA: Claims and counter claims are being bended out, where they say workload is going to increase, the workload is getting reduced, and where there is a fear that the workload is going to reduce, it remains the same. Under identical circumstances, in different colleges, the workload is getting upside down. DUB: But the student teacher ratio sir, is obviously going to increase with so many students studying the foundation courses, right. So how do you think that’s going to affect the student teacher ratio and the workload, because if you’re teaching 70 students instead of 50, its obviously going to make a difference. DUTA: That makes a difference in the quality of teaching also. When I was a student in the University, there used to be 12 or 16 students admitted. Now we teach a batch of 40. Last year, there were 70 in honours. And this time, we may face an honours class of 150. What kind of honours or distinction will they be getting? They will be studying the same course. And so many courses are the level of school. DUB: Coming from there, why do you think no new appointments were made to teach the new courses under FYUP? What is DUTA doing about the shortage of teachers in the university right now? DUTA: There has been an acute shortage of teachers for the past 4 years and about 4000 teachers have been teaching in adhoc and guest positions. And it is a mystery, officially speaking, if you ask me, as to why the appointments are not being made. I am incidentally the general secretary of Federation of Central University Teachers Association, what you call FECUTA, so in that capacity I took a delegation and met the UGC chairman more than once and we wanted to know why the appointments are not being made – whether there a confidential instruction from UGC for not making appointments as DU has been dilly dallying the matter. Then the UGC Chairman said very categorically that there is no delay from our side – infact, there is nothing confidential, infact, on the other hand we want the process of appointments to be expedited and to that effect, at our behest, the UGC wrote to the University officials, but they something, and DU says something and then Delhi University says that as soon as the latest service conditions are finalized, the appointments will start, and the UGC says that there is no bar from our side. And there have been announcements atleast three four times in the press that shortly or sooner than late, appointments will begin. DUB: What is the composition of teachers in the university as of now? How many teachers are we short of? DUTA: At this moment, there is a strength of 9000 teachers in colleges and departments, out of which, about 4000 are temporary and adhoc and guest position and on contact basis. Moreover, there are about 4000 vacancies. DUB: What are the major differences in ad hoc and permanent appointments as far as work load and facilities are concerned? DUTA: In working conditions, there is no difference. But the nature of appointment is different. The permanent appointment is made through a properly constituted selection committee, and that is regular. Then you cannot be pushed out. And an ad hoc appointment is for 4 months technically. Then you can renew your appointment every 4 months. DUB: Tell us about the DUTA’s recent protests about the victimisation of ad hoc teachers? What exactly were you demanding? DUTA: We are demanding, very specifically, the filling up of these 4000 vacancies. DUB: By adhoc professors who have already been teaching? DUTA: Number one, actually, we cannot officially say that as that would be disregarding the judgment of the Permanent Selection Committee. So I would say, fill up these 4000 vacant positions with permanent positions and do away with adhocism. DUB: So you think there should be no ad hoc teachers all together? DUTA: Adhoc appointments are meant only for a very brief period, until you find a regular solution. But then you institutionalise the adhocism. You have made adhocism a permanent phenomenon, how can the university function? DUB: A lot has been said and written about the present Vice Chancellor. What is the DUTA’s stand on him? DUTA: This present VC unfortunately has not been functioning as a head of an institution of higher learning ought to function. DUB: How should a head function and how is he not fitting into that criteria? DUTA: Because an academic institution of higher learning is very different from a corporate office, a company or a mill. Because here you get an atmosphere where the university functions with the cooperation of the teachers, students and karamcharis. Unfortunately, here the environment has undergone a total change. And now the present VC, if you allow me to say this, has been functioning as the CEO of a company, issuing orders on his behalf, shooting letters through is assistant registrar, even though the assistant registrar has no authority to do so. . They are also very poor at drafting – they don’t know the protocol or propriety. DUB: While a substantial number of teachers, students and administrative staff have been protesting the VC’s major reforms and policies in the University, most of these have been implemented regardless of protests, dharnas, demonstrations, even the hunger strikes for that matter. Doesn’t that send across a message about the helplessness of organizations like yours? What are you doing to change that and make the VC’s office take DUTA more seriously? DUTA: It is being implemented but it is being imposed. But I think this is an interim period, and sooner than later, there will be some kind of reaction. The election of the next DUTA have been announced in August and now any major action programme will come in after the election of the next DUTA. But there is simmering discontent at all levels. Look, we cannot take law into our hands. We are law abiding people, we can protest, persuade, try to engage in persuasion and negotiation. We have undertaken various action programmes. DUB: So you think that someday, something as powerful as the VC’s office, will have to take into heed your demands? DUTA: Yes, very soon. These are not demands like those of mill workers. DUTA is a growing and evolving teacher movement, not a trade union screaming inquilaab zindabad. Because we take care of the health of the academics and we are worried and hurt that the academics is dying in the University. DUB: Finally, with a new batch of students coming in and a whole new system of education being brought about, what advice would you give both students and teachers to deal with these major changes? DUTA: The new students are coming in with their fingers crossed as they coming into the unknown. They are students and they are young and I know that with their dedication and hardwork, they will tide over any crisis. This is a period of crisis. When the semester system came, the students were made victims. And so many of them suffered. But the youngsters have to rise to the challenge, and have to work with determination, whatever the courses are. DUB: Any message for the teachers? DUTA: Teachers will teach whatever the new courses are. But they are feeling hurt, because their very eyes, the courses and their quality are being curtailed and stifled. But we know that the standard of education is being destroyed. You are flirting with the courses and making a mockery of them. We have seen a different kind of university. DUB: So you say bring back the university that it was? DUTA: Yes, we want the academic status and dignity of academic functioning must be restored, which is being crippled.]]>

Refusal of admissions to Ph.D. program in Modern Indian Languages (MIL) and Literary Studies Department to over 50 Delhi University students by the university has lead to outrage and animosity among them. The preeminent problem here is that the university did not declare the post-graduate results at the apt time that is in May. The applicants are not guilty but the university is at pitfall. Also, the applicants from other departments who qualified their entrance exams and were wait-listed were called for Viva after two days but were denied consequently.

“There are limited seats for every course and in case the university, being the Central University of the country, announces its results late then it is apparent injustice to the candidates. It is none less than a crime being held. Why should the students suffer when the university is inefficient”, said Harish Khanna, Vice-President of DUTA.

Applicants were being called for entrance examination held on July 22, followed by the Viva on 24th July for those who qualified the entrance exam. But the most opaque and cloudy concern was that it was the only during the admission process that it was revealed that the students will not be given admissions unless they had their results. An applicant said, “This partial decision by the authorities regarding our admissions to the Ph.D. programme is really unjust. How can a university conclude over a matter when it is the one which is at fault?”

75 marks are awarded for the entrance exam, 25 for the Viva, 5 marks for NET- qualification and 20 marks on the M.A. and M.Phil. results, thus the  students who have their results awaited are not eligible. “When the case is so, the University is liable to coordinate and should extend the deadline for admissions or provide provisional admissions to the short-listed students. It is like violation of the Right to Education”, added Harish Khanna.

On Wednesday, 17th July 2013, the Delhi University Teacher’s Association (DUTA) held a dharna outside Vice Chancellor Dinesh Kumar’s office or the Vice Regal Lodge. Believing that the University’s Ad hoc teachers have been discriminated against at several occasions during the previous academic session, DUTA staged this dharna to demand for better working conditions and higher recruitment rates for ad hoc and temporary teachers in the next session, which is to start exactly a week after the protest was held.

The idea behind this demonstation was to ensure some basic labour benefits for ad hoc teachers – like medical leave, maternity leave, vacation salaries, and transitions to permanent teaching appointments. While many believe it to be astonishing that these very basic working conditions aren’t provided to a substantial part of the University’s teaching workforce, the Vice Chancellor’s office did not seem disrupted at all by the strike. No official from the University addressed the gathering, or even made an appearance. After the protest, a few of DUTA’s members compiled all their demands into a memorandum and submitted it at the VC’s office.


‘’No permanent teachers’ appointment has been made during the present Vice chancellor’s tenure. Most ad hoc teachers are losing employment in the new session. Despite the dharna and the memorandum, the VC’s office has not yet responded to any of our demands. We have also staged protests outside Shyam Lal College, whose administration has decided not to retain ad hoc teachers for the new session. Other colleges making similar calls – like Ramjas and PG DAV will also see demonstrations soon’’ said DUTA Vice President Harish Khanna.

The Academics for Action and Development (AAD) – a teacher’s group with similar demands as that of the DUTA staged their protest the next day outside the Vice Chancellor’s office. For the AAD, the main concerns leading to the demonstration was that teachers who have taught in the previous semester may not be retained and ad hoc experience may hold no value during interviews for permanent lectureship.

The University has promised the AAD that deliberations over service conditions of permanent teachers is about to reach a conclusion soon, and as soon as the committee in charge of the same submits its report, the University will begin advertising for positions of permanent appointments. While a similar assurances were made in October last year and at the end of this June, the AAD is expecting a finalization by next month.

Image Credit: Jayati Bhola