‘Orchestrated Tragedy’: DU students, teacher groups on displacement of ad hoc teachers; demand absorption

Delhi University teachers groups demanded justice for Hindu College teacher who died by suicide and absorption of displaced ad hoc teachers.

‘Orchestrated Tragedy’: DU students, teacher groups on displacement of ad hoc teachers; demand absorption DU students, teachers hold press conference on displacement of ad hoc teachers
Vagisha Kaushik | May 2, 2023 - 7:58 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: The students and teachers of Delhi University demanded absorption of all ad hoc and temporary teachers and justice for deceased Hindu College ad hoc teacher Samarvir Singh during a press conference held today on the ongoing mass displacements of ad hoc teachers of the university. The teacher organisations and professors have also sent a letter to the university’s vice chancellor, Yogesh Singh, highlighting the issues.

Teachers representing Common Teachers Forum, Democratic Teachers Front, Delhi Teachers Initiative, Indian National Teachers Congress (Indira) and Samajwaadi Shikshak Manch and those representing staff associations of SSN, ZHDC as well as elected teachers' representatives in DU Academic Council and DUTA executive participated in the press conference.

“The figures of displacement provided by the DU administration and the DUTA leadership are a gross underestimation of the real extent of the tragedy that we are witnessing,” said the teachers in a statement.

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During the press conference, the students who were taught by Singh spoke about the professor. Two students who spoke said that they were disappointed by the current apathy existent in different parts of the university community regarding the displacement of Singh who died by suicide as a result. Students hoped that those responsible for Samarveer's death would be punished.

Displacement of DU ad hoc teachers, jobs lost

Shubhajit from the physics department of Ramjas College, spoke about the plight of teachers who did not have a permanent job. He informed that a teacher who had been teaching physics at the college for 17 years lost her job and the history department was one of the worst affected departments by the mass-scale displacements. Hansraj College students informed that around 50-60 ad hoc teachers have been displaced from the college.

“Teachers who inspired students, who inculcated critical thinking in students and served as role models were the first ones to lose their jobs. Police was let loose upon protesting students. Teachers were not allowed to meet their students to say goodbye,” the teacher said. He emphasised the political nature of the appointments and alleged that those teachers who have relations with the DU administration have been appointed in colleges without a merit.

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Khushboo who is an adhoc teacher and a close friend of Samarveer shared that not only was Singh talented but was a person who could not die by suicide. The teacher talked about the humiliation faced by Singh which led him to take the step. She also talked about the vulnerability of ad hoc teachers who do not have any political affiliation. She highlighted the ill treatment done to ad hoc teachers by the university.

The teachers said that the University Grants Commission (UGC) regulations which give 100 percent weightage to interviews rather than points for teaching experience and academic period have given power to the DU selection committees to lead with displacements of ad hoc teachers.

“It is evident that the Selection Committees are mostly working to further the interest of the ruling establishment. Professors from DU depts are being sidelined and opinions of teachers in charge are being ignored in the decision making process. Interviews do not last for more than 2 minutes and often border on the farcical with little or no academic content. Candidates are humiliated by being asked insane questions. The same set of experts, many with negligible academic merit, are being sent to all colleges,” the teachers added.

The teachers also found Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA) responsible for mass displacements of teachers. The students and teachers demanded the absorption of displaced teachers on vacant seats.

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