Ad hoc teachers stay for now: DUTA after MHRD meeting

Ad hoc teachers stay for now: DUTA after MHRD meeting
Thousands of ad-hoc teachers gherao VC office (credit: Areesh Ahmad) Team Careers360 | Dec 5, 2019 - 8:22 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: Following two days of protest by hundreds of Delhi University teachers, the DU Teachers' Association, DUTA, said it has been "promised" that a controversial circular instructing colleges to hire guest teachers against "new vacancies" instead of ad hoc teachers will be "amended".

The announcement came after a meeting with the Ministry of Human Resource Development on Thursday evening. The meeting was attended also by officials from the higher education regulator, the University Grants Commission.

A brief statement was issued by the DUTA president, Rajib Ray who also said "no ad hoc teacher will lose job on the basis of August 28 letter".

Ad hoc to guest


The statement refers to the circular issued by the DU administration on August 28, 2019. While the circular was relevant to "new vacancies" arising in the 2019-20 academic sessions, the Delhi University Principals' Association had cited in that to put all ad hoc appointments on hold last week. As a result, around 4,500 ad hoc teachers were set to be removed from their posts or converted into guest teachers who are paid by the lecture and hold no other academic responsibility in a college.

This was the immediate provocation for the massive protests at the DU Vice Chancellor's office since Wednesday morning. Teachers had also boycotted exam invigilation and evaluation duty.

On Thursday morning, after a night-long meeting between the teachers and DU authorities failed, the MHRD hastened to intervene. Now the DUTA has announced that the amended August 28 letter will "allow provision of ad hoc appointments against substantive posts" but adds that it "waits to see the hard copy of this new notice".

While this staves off the immediate threat of dismissal, it is only a partial victory for teachers. As protesting teacher and elected member of the DU executive council, Rajesh K Jha points out, it does not resolve the larger problem of absorption of ad hoc teachers. For that, DUTA has been demanding a "one-time regulation" from the UGC. Alok Ranjan Pandey, DUTA joint secretary, issued a separate statement saying that "nothing less than absorption is acceptable"

At the time of publishing, it was still not clear whether the protests will continue or even if there was consensus among the various factions that make up DUTA on the direction of their protests. This copy will be updated when there is more clarity.

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