Why Are Delhi University’s Teachers Boycotting Exams And Surrounding The VC’s Office?

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Adhoc-ism has eaten the lives and labour of 5000 adhoc teachers and many more guest lecturers for years and years.  On July 21, 2014, the UGC had promised to fill vacant seats with permanent faculty.

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Now, seeing the non-fulfilment of promises, and the possible cancellation of rejoining of a few ad-hocs, teachers are boycotting exams and asking students to support them because they love the students but they are also helpless, which is why they are protesting.

Do these teachers believe that the administration cares about students who are facing high tuition and hostel fees? Does the administration care about children who are under constant pressure to be in the good books of their teachers and who may hail from casteist or communal mindsets? Do the adhoc teachers think that administration would care for children who are refrained from admission if they pay one rupee less?

What Did The UGC Actually Say?

On August 28, 2019, the UGC released a notification and said that the colleges may fill the permanent vacancies as soon as possible and until then, only the guest teachers would be appointed. So, the question arises, is making the present ad-hoc teachers permanent not possible? If it is possible, then, why are they creating noise?

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What Has Created The Bone Of Contention?

  1. The Delhi University Teachers’ Association is being compelled by Delhi University Principals’ Association to force the administration for the extension of the tenure of principals.
  2. The DUPA has said that as per verbal communication, it will not continue the ad-hoc faculties which have newly joined from July 20, 2019. However, the old ad-hoc faculties would resume their services and their salaries would be released. This promise was made in a letter dated 12-3-2019. That was day before yesterday. This is seen by ad-hocs as an attempt to break their unity.
  3. The teachers also want a confirmation that the August 28, 2019 letter has been taken back. Otherwise, through the reference of that notification, it may happen that the ad-hocs may get converted to guest lecturers.
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Which Factors Have Been Overlooked?

  1. The recruitment of ad-hocs all across India is happening through a direct interview of all PhD holders or NET qualified people. People come from far off places like Hyderabad University to Delhi University and try their luck in interviews. But, they cannot find a place to stay in Delhi at a reasonable rate for one or two month as their interviews keeps going on for any amount of time from one month to even semester end.
  2. The people who get recruited are the ones who are related to interviewers by caste, religion, ethnicity, region or bloodline. There should be a centralised written exam for recruitment which would have 80% marks for teaching undergraduate courses.
  3. This should be noted that from 2005, the number of ad-hoc teachers has risen from 500 to 5000. And, there are 2000 vacant seats meant for recruitment in Delhi University. The ad-hoc teachers are never able speak up against the internally going on corruption.
  4. There should be a test to fill the number of vacant seats in the University according to ranking of the qualified candidates. With this, the hegemony of St. Stephens’ College, SRCC, etc. will come to an end as well.

If the administration cares for students then, it can reduce a re-evaluation and rechecking fee. If the administration cares for students, there should be the system of inter-University-copy-checking. This would reduce the blackmailing of students by the teachers.

In the last few years, the cases of Fatima Latheef, Rohith Vemula and Payal Tadvi have shown that students are increasingly succumbing due to what can only be called an opacity on what is happening within the four walls of the university campus.

Featured image source: Abha Dev Habib/Facebook.
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