A group of teachers is opposing the demand to make the current ad hoc jobs permanent.
On Tuesday, around 2,000 teachers marched through the Delhi University’s north campus, shouting slogans against the vice chancellor and the BJP government. The teachers were confronted by the Delhi police, who had put up barricades and used water cannons to block the march, but they carried on undaunted.
The Delhi University Teachers’ Association has been protesting against the dismissal of around 4,500 ad hoc teachers since November 4. Acting on a letter from the vice chancellor’s office on August 28, the Delhi University Principal’s Association scrapped all positions of ad hoc teacher, and announced that it would contract guest teachers instead. DUTA is demanding that the letter be withdrawn and the university make permanent the positions of all ad-hoc professors.
Tuesday’s march came three days after DUTA released a draft resolution detailing how they would continue opposing the decision. The resolution was drafted after the teachers met with officials of the Human Resource Development ministry on Thursday.
The teachers marched chanting, “Jo sarkar nikammi hai, wo sarkar badalni hai” – the ineffective government must be changed – and “Jo Hitler ki chaal chalega, wo Hitler ki maut marega” – Those who act like Hitler will die like Hitler. Students from different colleges of the university joined the rally in solidarity with DUTA.
In the meeting last week, the Human Resource Development ministry made these “verbal assurances” to DUTA:
The same say, DUTA released a statement calling for the continuation of their invigilation boycott, evaluation boycott, and general suspension of all official duties because their demand for one-time absorption of all temporary and ad hoc faculties had not been met.
DUTA’s executive council will meet Friday morning and there will be a General Body Meeting at 2 pm “to review and continue the movement”.
Megha Jain, a teacher at Shyam Lal College, said, “This is slavery. We have to work for four months and then reappear for an appointment. Not that we fear the interviews, but we have been working for years and we want the promotions that have been long denied to us.”
Asked about the march and the use of water cannon on the teachers, she said,
“We are the ones who have actually been listening and who have suffered this all. We believe that teaching is a noble profession. This treatment that we have received at the hands of the university and now at the hands of the administration is inhumane.”
The teachers organised a flashlight demonstration in front of the Viceregal Lodge at 5 pm on Wednesday. Loudspeakers were set up and chants of “Hum kya maangein? Absorption!” – What do we demand? Absorption! – echoed. The teachers also sang songs such as “Kahab to lag jayi dhak se” and “Jab koi baat bigad jaye”.
There is, however, a group of teachers that is opposing the demand for one-time absorption. On Wednesday, a group of guest lecturers and research scholars protested against this demand by organising a candlelight march from VC Lawns Gate 4 to the Vishwavidyalaya metro station. Jyotsana Narayan, a Hindi PhD scholar, said, “If you see the procedure for the ad hoc interview, the principal, the teacher in charge and one senior teacher are present there, while interviews for guest teachers have a six-seven member panel according to UGC guidelines from 2018. The panel includes one VC nominee, one subject expert, one OBC/SC/ST observer, the principal, the teacher in charge and two-three more members. And what they get is Rs 1500 per lecture, and they don’t get any leaves or perks.”
Asked about their opposition to absorption, Narayan said, “If they absorb ad hoc teachers and make them permanent, others who did not get the chance to become ad hoc teachers would never get the opportunity since they would not even get to appear for the interviews.”
Narayan further said the posts for permanent teachers should be filled up as soon as possible but under the established procedure which doesn’t give an unfair advantage to any group of teachers.
Both groups of teachers continue to protest.