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Delhi: DTF Demands DU Intervention to Stop ‘Mass Displacement’ of ad hoc Teachers

In a letter addressed to the DU vice-chancellor, the Democratic Teachers’ Front has criticised the recruitment drive at its colleges.
Delhi: DTF Demands DU Intervention to Stop ‘Mass Displacement’ of ad hoc Teachers

Image Courtesy: NDTV

New Delhi: The Democratic Teachers’ Front (DTF) has demanded the Delhi University (DU) administration’s immediate intervention to stop the “mass-scale displacement” of ad hoc teachers in several colleges of the university.

In a scathing letter addressed to Delhi University (DU) vice-chancellor (V-C) Yogesh Singh on Monday, DTF expressed “shock” and “anger” at the “more than 80% rate of displacement” of such teachers at Hansraj College, Laxmi Bai College and Ramjas College in the latest recruitment drive. The forum severely criticised the recruitment drive for failing to protect the livelihood of thousands of ad hoc teachers serving for years in various colleges and departments.

The colleges, in the absence of clear guidelines, recruited ad hoc teachers on four-month contracts and made them join after a one-day break. Despite being the backbone of academic and administrative activities in the university, the teachers could not avail of facilities like maternity, study or even sick leave.

Nandita Narain, former Delhi University Teachers Association President, wrote: “We are appalled by the fact that in colleges like Hansraj, Ramjas and Laxmi Bai, the rate of displacement amounts to more than 80% and especially that of teachers who have been teaching for the longest period in their respective colleges, including temporary teachers who were appointed through regular selection committees.”

At Daulat Ram College and Swami Shradhanand College as well, the “number of teachers displaced is more than 50%”, the letter read. “This displacement of teachers through farcical interviews is not only an attack on the livelihood of thousands of teachers but also shows a callous disregard of the university administration towards their contribution to these institutions with their tireless work,” it added.

Owing to the failure to protect the livelihood of teachers, the president of Lady Shri Ram College Staff Association resigned on moral grounds.

The letter mentioned that 4,500 ad hoc teachers in various colleges could not be regularised due to workload norms of Amendment III in 2016 or the change in the roster by the University Grants Commission through its letter on 5.3.2018. Yet, DU chose to sideline the teachers when it began recruitment in 2022.

“DUTA had launched a struggle to procure a one-time regulation from the government on the absorption of ad hoc/temporary teachers against the substantive vacancies as per the 200-point roster. The same was repeatedly raised by the elected representatives across political groups in the academic council,” the letter adds.

The teachers have been demanding a regulation via an ordinance to regularise them. “However, in the absence of the aforesaid regulation on absorption, when DU decided to initiate the process of appointments through interviews in 2022, it was expected that the University would be considerate towards the teachers teaching for years on an ad hoc basis in different colleges,” DTF said.

It was also expected that the university would “ensure permanent appointments for those who had served for such long years despite extremely harsh conditions of no leave or any other benefits that accrue to permanent teachers”.

Jitendra Kumar Meena, a DUTA executive member who also signed the letter, said that despite much expectations of regularisation and contribution to the teaching-learning process, teachers have been “thrown out of jobs” after serving for two decades. “What has transpired in the last few months is nothing short of a massacre, especially in the colleges mentioned above, where principals acted with a vendetta against their colleagues. Teachers teaching for 20, 17 and 15 years have been thrown out of their jobs through interviews not lasting for more than two minutes.”

At Ramjas College, “10 out of 11 teachers in the maths department, four out of five in the statistics department and 15 out of 19 teachers in the physics department have been displaced with impunity despite teaching for more than a decade and having made a stellar contribution to the institution”, Meena said in the letter.

“The story is similar at Laxmi Bai and Hansraj colleges, where certain departments witnessed 100% displacement of teachers working for the longest time. And unfortunately, the university administration has not done anything to rein in these three vindictive principals,” he added.

DTF’s letter told the VC that the teachers “hope as the academic and administrative head of the University of Delhi, it is your [Singh] responsibility to ensure that such mass-scale displacement does not take place and this situation whereby the livelihood of ad hoc teachers is under serious attack today is brought to a stop”.

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