The DUTA (Delhi University Teachers’ Association) called for a University shutdown on January 8 and 9, 2019 alleging complete administrative paralysis, leading to a collapse of normal functioning of the University. The protesting teachers said that during the two-day strike no teachers would teach or go to class.
According to an ad-hoc teacher present at the strike, although the DU administration remained indifferent, the number of teachers, staff members and students who came out to support the demands put forward by DUTA was significant. She recalled there having been about one thousand people present. When asked if the strike had bore any results, she smiled and said that the key was to keep marching on.
In its letter to the Vice Chancellor of Delhi University, Prof. Yogesh Tyagi, DUTA had put forth various specific demands and grievances such as “matters of promotions, counting of past services, the adoption of UGC Regulations 2018, maternity/paternity leave for ad-hoc teachers, release of pensions, recovery from teachers, stepping up, implementation of revised pension and allowances” which were not addressed by the University despite various letters. It also highlighted the university’s refusal to allow a discussion in the Academic Council regarding UGC regulations put forth in a report by its own committee and demanded a meeting of the Academic Council immediately so that the appropriate amendments can be affected to the relevant Ordinances in order to implement the UGC Regulations 2018.
DUTA also demanded that the pending cases of promotions in colleges and university departments be processed with no further delay or bureaucratic requirements such as uploading of forms and publications. On the same note, a group of 20 ad-hoc teachers of Delhi University began an indefinite hunger strike on December 30 2018, demanding the same benefits as those given to permanent teachers and the former’s immediate absorption through a one-time ordinance in a situation where about 4500 teachers are currently employed on an ad-hoc basis.
DUTA has been actively contesting what they allege is the ‘destruction of Delhi University’ over the past few years, evidenced by the government’s attempt to introduce graded autonomy and privatisation, through Tripartite MoU and replacing grants with loans from HEFA. DUTA sees them as policy attacks on public funded higher education.
It has also demanded the restoration of the 200 point Reservation Roster taking the University/College as a unit, as opposed to the Department/Subject; scrapping of the New Pension Scheme (NPS) and assured pension to all employees across the country. DUTA has also consistently opposed what it perceives as attempts of the government to crush dissent and resistance among teachers through CCS rules, teaching-evaluation under ESMA and amendment of the DU act.