The Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) held a mass hunger strike on Tuesday to raise problems faced by ad hoc teachers and demanded that they get permanent postings in the university. The ad hoc teachers spoke about their struggle and how unstable their lives are because of the lack of a permanent job.
“Ad hoc teachers have no job security or stability. Each year, we have to struggle to get teaching positions and the bickering within the teacher community does not help. We all have to stand together and demand permanent postings,” said Vijay Mani, a teacher at Atma Ram Sanatan Dharma College.
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According to DUTA officials, close to half of the 10,000 teachers at Delhi University are hired on an ad hoc basis. Permanent appointments were last made in 2013-14, and close to 700 teachers were hired back then.
“Ad hoc teachers routinely face a lot of discrimination in their professional lives. In many unlike the permanent staff — they have to teach more classes, moving well beyond the 16-periods-per-week University Grants Commission norms. They are also allotted more examination duties than their permanent counterparts. This form of slavery is reinforced every four months at the time of their rejoining… Very often, teachers are humiliated by the college staff because of their ad hoc status and fearing that they will lose their jobs, most are unable to voice their resistance,” a statement issued by DUTA read.
The statement also mentioned that many meritorious teachers are being forced out of the university due to “the failure of the administration to conduct permanent interviews on a regular basis. It also acts as a deterrent in attracting new talent to this profession.”
DU teachers had held a 56-day hunger strike on the same issue in 2012 as well but nothing has changed since then, teachers said. “This is like deja vu. Only 700 appointments have taken place against around 4,500 vacancies since 2012. The roster for appointment that the university wants to follow is not in accordance with the one approved by the department of personnel and training. Our demand is to make ad hoc teachers permanent,” said Rudrashish Chakraborty, who teaches at Kirori Mal College.
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