With the administration planning to initiate the recruitment process in Delhi University, next year could offer some relief to ad hoc teachers.
A meeting of DU’s academic council has been called on Tuesday, when the University Grants Commission’s amendment, meant to give relaxation to applicants who completed their PhDs more than 10 years ago, will be presented. According to Dean of Colleges, Devesh Sinha, this is the first step in starting the process.
“We absolutely intend to start recruitment of permanent teachers next year and that is why this meeting has been called. The fourth amendment of the UGC states that norms be relaxed for teachers who completed their PhD more than 10 years ago,” Sinha told The Indian Express.
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Sinha agreed that the number of ad hoc teachers in DU had become a pressing problem.
“Having ad hoc teachers is not the problem, it is the sheer number that is worrying. But we must look at the nationwide trend. Under normal circumstances, positions that are about to fall vacant due to retirement are advertised beforehand. This practice has not been followed in recent years. Non-appointment is a common problem in the whole country. Several universities and institutes do not have vice-chancellors and directors. We inherited these problems…,” Sinha said.
DU’s decision to initiate the recruitment process, however, could run into trouble again. The Delhi University Teachers’ Association has said that it will not accept the appointment roster that DU wants to follow.
The roster is a list of vacant positions that makes sure reservation norms are followed in the recruitment process. According to DUTA, the university’s roster is at variance with the one mandated by the Centre.
Sources in the university, however, said that this perception is incorrect.
“The roster prepared by the university is perfectly fine. Recruitments next year will also, in all probability, be based on it. A number of teachers have created the impression that it will be unfair to teachers from the reserved category. This is wrong. The vacant positions will soon be filled,” said a senior official.
But how did 40 per cent of sanctioned positions come to be filled by ad hoc teachers in the first place?
It was in 2008 that a 27 per cent increase in student intake was ordered in institutions. An increase in the number of teachers was also announced to cater to the increased student strength. In DU, 3,500 seats were added at the time. But only a fraction have been filled.
In 2010-11, the university implemented the semester system and the workload and the requirement of teachers changed as per the new format. Even as departments were struggling to tackle the new system, the four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP) was announced. This again disturbed the workload. Once FYUP was scrapped, the choice-based credits system was introduced. The university has been in flux for the past six years and teachers have also suffered as a result.
Several talented ad hoc teachers chose to take up jobs in other government and private universities. Delhi government’s Ambedkar University is a prime example of this trend.
But Sinha feels that many teachers are still reluctant to move away from Delhi.
“Some ad hoc teachers are extremely talented and will get jobs outside Delhi easily but after having spent 3-4 years in Delhi, they become closed to other options. Many of them cannot contribute in research work because of work pressure and their absorption in the university becomes difficult,” he said.
But with the new UGC amendment and resumption of appointments, things will get better for ad hoc teachers from next year, he said.