AUD Delhi faculty members hold protest; demand safe infrastructure, 'respectful' work environment

AUD faculty body also asked Ambedkar University to stop faculty harassment, apply CAS properly, and involve diverse faculty groups in decision making.

AUD Delhi faculty protested against harassment, unfair decisions, and more (Image Source: Official)AUD Delhi faculty protested against harassment, unfair decisions, and more (Image Source: Official)

Vagisha Kaushik | August 17, 2023 | 04:35 PM IST

NEW DELHI: The faculty members of the BR Ambedkar University, Delhi have demanded better infrastructure and work environment and a halt to harassment against the faculty members. The Ambedkar University Delhi Faculty Association (AUDFA) held a protest today and kept several demands in front of the university.

In a statement, the association expressed distress over the downward trajectory of AUD in the last few years and listed down some factors which are disturbing the teaching and non-teaching staff. The factors include low ranking, less number of student applications, low external funding on projects, resignation by professors, poor working conditions, stagnant career, poor infrastructure, and more.

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The faculty members argued that the university is not even ranking in the top 200 universities in the world today and the number of applications to undergraduate and postgraduate programmes has declined sharply. According to the association, at least seven faculty members have resigned with some going to private universities and others leaving without a job due to the poor environment.

“Over the past years, AUD faculty and centres regularly undertook projects and consultancies worth around INR 5-7 crores a year. This number barely reaches INR 1 crore today,” AUDFA said.

Poor work environment, infrastructure

About the work environment, the AUD faculty alleged that while there are no service rules, the university denies No Objection Certificate (NOC) to the faculty for participating in academic activities, visas, or academic positions. Moreover, the professors are giving up research opportunities and the posts of visiting faculty have been disbanded leading to low pay and gaps in running the programmes. Even the non-teaching staff face delay in contract renewals and suffer from short-term contracts.

The association further pointed out to the harassment by administration including action against the staff resulting in financial and mental stress along with loss of service. It also alleged that the university does not discuss important decisions with the faculty. Talking about career, it said that CAS meetings are delayed and a trend of rewarding a few selected faculty members is emerging in the university.

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The faculty members called the university infrastructure as “dilapidated, unsanitary, and unsafe.” Students and professors are working with broken furniture, power outages, non-functional air conditioners and fans, unusable washrooms and flooded rooms, it said.

AUDFA asked AUD Delhi to urgently stop faculty harassment, reverse unfair decisions, invest in repairing the infrastructure, provide support in faculty research and better work environment, and consult with faculty members and involve diverse groups in decision making.

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