Hundreds of Delhi University (DU) teachers staged a protest demonstration outside the University Grants Commission (UGC) headquarters in support of their long-standing demands on Thursday.
Alleging that transparency was completely evaded during the recent permanent appointment of 126 candidates to the post of Assistant Professors made in the Law Faculty, a group of ad-hoc teachers had earlier on Monday asserted that the recruitment was done in gross violation of UGC norms and guidelines and University bye-laws.
After the recent interviews for faculty members, the Faculty of Law relieved around 40 ad hoc teachers, many of them working for 10-15 years with the department, for new teachers hired on a permanent basis.
In a show of solidarity, several other teachers joined them under the banner of Delhi University Teachers' Association (DUTA) and held a demonstration outside the Vice Chancellors' office on Tuesday.
"Suddenly on the night of January 30, 2018 some of the applicants started receiving a call to join as Assistant Professor, in absence of an official declaration of result anywhere on the University website, national dailies, or any other public platform," alleged a press release from ad-hoc teachers working in DU.
The teachers said applications were invited through advertisement, vide Advt. No. Estab. IV/258/2017 on January 27 last year. "University undertook a lengthy selection process for 126 advertised posts of Assistant Professor for which interviews were held during the months of July, 2017 to September, 2017. On January 30, 2018 the results of the selected candidates were read out in the Executive meeting and till now it has not been notified in public domain and many of the selected candidates have joined despite no declaration of the result officially till date," the statement read.
"The marks of the candidates under 50:30:20 were not shared with the Executive Council of 30 January which approved appointments in various departments including Law Faculty, CIE and Patel Chest Institute," DUTA said in a statement, expressing shock and dismay over recent permanent appointments.
Besides stressing on reinstatement of 40-plus ad hoc teachers, who were associated with the Law Faculty for over a decade, DUTA has reiterated its demand for regularisation of all the long-serving temporary and ad-hoc teachers, stressing that their contribution to the teaching-learning and academic growth of departments and colleges across DU cannot be ignored.
“The showing up of teachers was unprecedented... Never before did so many teachers come out in support of ad hoc teachers from across the university colleges. Most classes were suspended for the day and the same condition will prevail even tomorrow (Wednesday)," DUTA vice president Sudhanshu Kumar said.
Demanding justice for the removed faculties, the teachers' body had earlier condemned the university administration for its "callous attitude" and also demanded that proportion attributed to several criteria for promotion—as per the Academic Performance Indicator (API) index—be made public.
On the third day of the strike, the teachers also raised the issue of retrograde recommendations of 7th Pay Revision Notification and 30%-70% funding formula. "This will force the colleges to shift the financial burden to the students by increasing the fees... Can you expect students from the underprivileged background, who come from far away corners of the country, to afford ₹50,000 for studying in DU," Kumar asked.
“After the Budget, there is anger in the teaching community with the realisation that the government is adamant on drastic cost-cutting and shifting to loan-based expansion of educational infrastructure. Teachers are stuck without any promotions and pensions,” said Rajib Ray, DUTA president.
Ray further said, “DUTA demands resolution of anomalies of the 6th Central Pay Commission, no stagnation of Associate Professors, Professors and Principals, promotion to Professorship in colleges, scrapping of Academic Performance Indicator (API), time bound promotions, no retrospective application of API, counting of past service, immediate notification of the new pension in the 7th Pay Commission and 100% Central assistance to all educational institutions.”
DUTA has threatened to intensify the stir if the issues are not resolved. It has appealed to the Delhi University Students Union to join the teachers' movement and support the strike.