Delhi University Teachers, raise objection against the Institute of Eminence(IoE) proposal, for proposing to recruit foreign faculty at competitive salaries, for undergraduate and postgraduate courses. 

Objections have been raised by Teachers along with Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA), against the Institute of Eminence (IoE) proposal, as the Varsity has proposed to recruit foreign faculty on “competitive salaries” with the existing faculty. Members of the Executive Council (EC) raised the issue recently after receiving the proposal for the same.

Abha Dev Habib, Office Bearer, DUTA told DU Beat, “As per the UGC Regulations on Graded Autonomy it has became clear that the differential pay needed to maintain foreign faculty will have to be generated by the institutions. This means that in order to run such programmes or centers, the fees will be enhanced sharply. Also differential pay for the same work is discrimatory. This will demoralise our own researchers and teachers. We also fear that in order to maintain rating and ranking, institutions may be forced to hire foreign faculty even in the disciplines/ areas where experts are available amongst our own people. With a large number of researchers and teachers waiting in queue for permanent jobs, this replacement will not be welcomed. This was also one of the major concerns put forth in the report by the Rajya Sabha Parliamentary Standing Committee against the Foreign Education Providers Bill, 2013.”

Delhi University was awarded the IoE in September 2019, by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), thus making it eligible for a Government grant of INR 1000 crore. Teachers objected to the proposal, stating the possible encouragement of privatisation and contractualisatijon of employees. This new issue comes in the background of an existing protest by DUTA, who have been demanding absorption of ad hocs since the previous two months.

EC member Rajesh Jha said to Hindustan Times, “The administration says that IOE has been brought in to improve rankings of the Varsity. Why not work on the lopsided existing teacher-student ratio to improve that? There is no mention of absorbing teachers who have been working for years or even that of promotions and appointments.”

Rajib Ray, President, Delhi University’s Teachers’ Association (DUTA), said to Hindustan Times,“The proposal, if followed, will create an arbitrary pay structure, push for contractualisatijon, and create space for favouritism. Indian teachers are excelling in all fields and there is high unemployment in our country. In such a scenario, why would we want faculty members from other countries when we have enough qualified teachers?”

He added, “The entire proposal was submitted without discussion and the approval of statutory bodies. It will change the existing structure and character of the University.”

The IoE grant to be used for foreign faculty does very little for the various departments and colleges of the University. The foreign faculty would be hired as per the market demand, and their salaries may differ, and will not even result to job creation for our own struggling teachers, in times of recession.

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Anandi Sen

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DUTA demands boycott over delays in processing promotions, parity for librarians, opposition to proposed New Education Policy (NEP) and other changes.

Convening on 25th November 2019, the Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) came to a few conclusions regarding the long-pending demands of the teachers and their future course of action at the General Body Meeting (GBM). In a press release summarising the discourse of their meeting, teachers expressed their agitation over the illegal Delhi University (DU) circular of August 28th, 2019 that only allows the appointment of guest teachers against full-time posts in departments and colleges, which has adversely impacted the teaching-learning process.

Teachers are also angered with the University’s administration’s inordinate delay in processing promotions for long years, causing harassment and demoralisation of teachers. The demand for stopping of illegal recoveries from teachers and an end to the harassment of the physical education teachers were also raised. Immediate utilisation of the Second Tranche positions of Other Backward Classes (OBC) expansion and implementation of the Kale Committee report also figure in the list of their demands.

The GBM also called upon the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) to respond to the demand for a One Time Regulation for Absorption of Ad-Hoc and temporary teachers. The DUTA GBM also denounced the attitude of the MHRD that has found reflection in the University Grants Commission (UGC) Regulations 2018, certain provisions of which threaten to exclude teachers in service due to unjust screening criteria and by not accounting for teaching experience adequately in the selection process.

The DUTA GBM also demanded that “the government/UGC immediately approve the provisions regarding relaxation in Academic Performance Indicators (API) for promotions made by the Academic Council and the Executive Council of the Delhi University to correct an infirmity in the UGC Regulations 2018 which has rendered the scheme meaningless.” The GBM also reiterated the demand for complete parity for librarians with the teachers. It also demands a restoration of the parity of instructors and programmers with respect to pay and service conditions.

The DUTA GBM reiterated its opposition to the proposed National Education Policy of 2019, as a proposal that seeks to privatise higher education and hand over these institutions to privatised the Board of Governors (BoGs) with full powers over educational activities and teachers. The privatised BoGs are to enjoy powers that till now were exercised by the Government or UGC, the Executive Councils and Governing Bodies of colleges. Teachers will have no say in the affairs of educational institutions. It threatens dismemberment of Delhi University (DU) by separating colleges from DU as autonomous units under separate BoGs. The DUTA GBM resolved to broaden the struggle against the proposed NEP through coordinated campaigns and protest actions with teachers, students and concerned citizens across the country.

DUTA President, Rajib Ray and Secretary, Rajinder Ray have also demanded immediate action on the DUTA White Paper on “Acts of mis-governance by the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Delhi”.

In order to press for the above demands, the DUTA GBM has decided on a complete evaluation boycott of the semester-end examinations and an indefinite strike starting from the second week of January in case the MHRD and the DU administration do not respond. The GBM also demanded that all Ad-Hoc teachers be allowed to re-join on 1st January failing which the strike may be advanced. The GBM also resolved to undertake outreach programmes, Jan Sampark programmes, Press Conferences and meetings with leaders of political parties and Members of Parliament (MPs) and other participatory action programmes will be held to highlight the issues and to spread awareness about the issues. The GBM also decided to join the All India Trade Union Strike scheduled for January 8th, 2020.


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Bhavya Pandey 

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As the opportunities in the service sector and manufacturing sector increased for the educated youth, the demand for educational institutions grew, and hence, education is turning into a business in our country.
In India, it is not legal to run educational institutions as business organisations, since only trusts can run such institutions on a non-profit basis. However, there appears to be a systemic method by which many trusts turn these non-profit institutions into their profit-making centres.
The entrepreneurs, taking advantage of the high demand for education, generally get land allotted at a nominal cost in the name of an educational community. In the initial stages, some temporary structures are put up. Later on, as students are admitted, funds begin to flow in the form of development fee, building fee, tuition fee, cultural event fee, etc. These institutions charge cost plus pricing for the services rendered by them. Therefore, over a period of time, these institutions were able to construct huge buildings and purchase costly equipment to modernise their establishments. In this way, a large percentage of unaided private schools and colleges have converted education into a business enterprise.

Earlier, these institutions were confined to metropolitan areas and big cities, but now they are spreading even to smaller towns. “This seriously undermines the selfless nature of education, especially in a country like ours where students are supposed to consider their teachers as Gods,” opined Bhavya, a first-year student pursuing B.A. (Honours) Economics from Daulat Ram College. Of late, the issue of charging capitation fee by educational institutions has also become a sensational topic of disccussion. The Supreme Court, in its judgement on the Mohini Jain versus the Government of Karnataka case in 1992, declared that the Right to Education was a fundamental right, and that the charging of capitation fee was arbitrary, unfair, and, therefore, in violation of the fundamental Right to Equality contained in Article 14 of the Constitution. Mohini Jain, the petitioner in the case, was admitted to the medical college in Karnataka, but she could not take advantage of admission as she could not pay INR 60,000 per year as capitation fee.

A distinction has to be made between privatisation and commercialisation of education. India has a long tradition of privatisation of higher education. Tilak, Karve, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, and many other charitable trusts started educational institutions to widen educational opportunity in the society. But modern educational entrepreneurs are not guided by philanthropic motives of the earlier reformers. They intend to invest in educational institutions to maximise profits, because the demand for professional education is very high and the risk involved in this investment is minimal.
There have also been many instances of promoters of educational institutions getting involved in tax evasion and money laundering cases. Politicians and other investors create trust funds, citing education as the motive.

Corporate Social Responsibility funds flow into the trust through legitimate banking channels. These funds are returned to the promoters in cash, and the actual expenditure on the institution is met with the illicit hoard of black money. The expenditure is then inflated, helping launder the black money. In spite of these negative aspects, there are many positive aspects as well that have been brought in by the private investments in the education sector. They have filled up the investment deficit in the education sector. They have increased the availability of seats, creative subjects, and also developed the other centres including the urban areas.

Any development without proper regulations is hazardous for the society. Hence, there should be a strong regulatory body across India for the regulation of these institutions regularly. Benjamin Franklin wisely said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” One can sincerely hope the investment is not made to run education as a business to a point of extreme capitalistic individualism and exploitation, but in order to increase knowledge for the building of a stronger and a more reformed society.

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat Archives

Abhinandan Kaul

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The Left student organisations to march to Parliament over communalism,privatisation of education on 18th February 2019.

After the protest march for farmers, the students plan to march in protest against the Modi- government on higher education and its anti-student policies on 18th February 2019 to Parliament of India. The march is part of a Pan-India campaign that is being organised by several student organisations including the Students’ Federation of India (SFI), All India Democratic Students’ Organisation (AIDSO), Progressive Students’ Union (PSU), All India Students’ Bloc (AISB), and All IndiaStudents’ Federation (AISF) with the slogan ‘Save Education, Save Democracy,
Save Nation’. Students have been one of the worst affected sections in the country under the NDA regime, according to the organisations’ Press Release.There have been a series of attacks, on multiple levels and character, which have
resulted in weakening of Indian education system on one hand and sabotaging the very idea of education and its social responsibility, on the other.
The main demands of the ‘Chalo Delhi’ march is to establish a nation-wide, fully state-funded, and free Common Education System from kindergarten to Post Graduation, government spending to at least 6% of the GDP and 10% of the central budget on education, and guaranteed employment to all. The students also aim to stop communalisation of education, implement the existing reservations properly, and ensure social justice in government as well as private
institutions. The protest will also highlight the need to release money for all pending scholarships immediately, establish more fellowships for research scholars from deprived and underprivileged background, protect federal
character of education, and stop gender discrimination and atrocities on girl students. The student organisations have said in a statement, “There is also a serious threat of unemployment before the youth in the country. Rate of unemployment has been the highest in 20 years. The promise of creating two crore job opportunities every year was forgotten immediately after Modi came to power, and the educated youth live in a condition of disarray. No rhetoric can mask the truth, India lives in a dangerous reality.”
Neelanjita Biswas, a member of SFI, in conversation with the DU Beat correspondent said, “The Leftist student organisations have planned a march on 18th February 2019 to save education. There is a nationwide attack on education and unfair budget allotment in the education sector. It seems as if the nation is frustrated by the current government policies- kisans (farmers), karamcharis (the working class), and now the students. It is high time that students fight for their rights.”

 Image Credits: Neelanjita Biswas

Anoushka Sharma
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On 6th June 2018, the Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) organised the ‘Jansampark’ programme, informing citizens and making them aware of the problems that DU teachers face, with government paying no attention to their demands.

Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) on Wednesday organised the ‘Jansampark’ programme, with teachers and students participating in large numbers outside five metro stations namely Vishwavidyalaya, Rajiv Chowk, Mandi House, ITO, and Central Secretariat.

“This Action Programme was organised to create awareness among the general public about massive problems that teachers of Delhi University were grappling with and finding no solutions to their miseries, teachers had to go on evaluation boycott,” said DUTA in a press release.

People were informed by the teachers and student activists about the sufferings that an average teacher has to undergo on a daily basis. More than 4000 teaching posts are lying vacant in the University of Delhi (DU). Despite the high court order directing the colleges to fill all teaching posts, the University has failed to do so.  The UGC letter dated 5th May 2018 directed the University to change the teaching roster to department-wise and if the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) does not withdraw the letter, the 4000 ad-hoc teachers teaching against these vacant positions are at a risk of being displaced in the beginning of next semester in July.

For the past ten years, teachers have been denied promotions. This has led to a sense of disillusionment amongst young teachers. The retired teachers of the Varsity and karamcharis are being denied pensions. The government is coming up with plans to privatise the higher education institutions through autonomous colleges and graded autonomy. General public was educated about how privatisation will make public education out of the reach of poor people, harming the interest of underprivileged, minorities, and female students.

On 28 March, 2018 Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) and the Federation of Central Universities’ Teachers’ Associations (FEDCUTA) organised the “March for Education” from Mandi House to Parliament Street in the national capital against the granting of graded autonomy to 60 universities which would lead to commercialisation and blatant privatisation of public education.

On 9 May 2018 DUTA announced its decision to boycott evaluation of answer sheets in protest against delay in teachers’ appointment and promotion, lack of absorption of ad-hoc teachers, autonomous college scheme and the change in roster policy.

The Jansampark programme had a good reception from the people of Delhi who asked them to intensify their struggle until their demands are met.

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat Archives
Disha Saxena

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