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92 AUD teachers slam letter to six colleagues ‘absent’ from Sisodia event

The Indian Express had reported on November 10 that AUD had taken “serious note” of the matter and sent emails to the teachers from Karampura campus, asking them to provide “valid reasons” for their absenteeism from the November 2 event.

Written by Aranya Shankar | New Delhi |
Updated: November 21, 2021 8:26:38 am
Manish Sisodia, Ambedkar University Delhi, delhi news, delhi local news, delhi breaking news, delhi latest news, delhi news, indian express newsDelhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia (FIle)

Over 90 teachers across the three campuses of Ambedkar University Delhi have issued a statement, under the general body of the AUD Faculty Association (AUDFA), “unequivocally condemning” a letter issued to at least six teachers to explain their “absenteeism” from the inauguration of an auditorium and multipurpose block by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia. They have demanded that the letters be withdrawn.

The Indian Express had reported on November 10 that AUD had taken “serious note” of the matter and sent emails to the teachers from Karampura campus, asking them to provide “valid reasons” for their absenteeism from the November 2 event.

In a statement by the AUDFA dated November 15, 92 of the total 130 faculty members said, “We the members of Ambedkar University Delhi Faculty Associa-tion unequivocally condemn the letter of explanation issued to some of our colleagues asking them to provide valid reasons for not being present at the inauguration of an auditorium and multipurpose block by the Deputy CM of Delhi on the Karampura campus of AUD on November 2, 2021.”

“The inauguration was held in the first week of a much-delayed semester. The construction and inauguration of a multipurpose hall and auditorium are welcome; however, we must remember these infrastructures are meant to provide enabling support for effective delivery of teaching-learning activities. The issuance of a letter of explanation to the faculty for not attending such an inaugural event and for concentrating on their academic duties, including teaching, preparation, supervision and research, is self-defeating and demoralising,” the letter states.

They said such letters were “antithetical to the very fact that such an event is supposed to provide enabling institutional support to effective delivery of teaching-learning function at AUD”.

“Such a punitive act defies the logic of infrastructure support which comes at the cost of academic commitment of faculty. This situation is a stark reminder of misplaced priorities of the university that teachers are being asked to show the reason for carrying out academic duties instead of mandatorily attending an auditorium inauguration. It needs to be underlined that AUD is an autonomous institution established by an act of the Delhi Legislature, and its academic integrity must not be sacrificed,” they said.

“AUDFA General Body urges the management to desist from the unwarranted disciplinary act …  We stand in solidarity with all our colleagues who have been carrying out their academic duties in extremely challenging conditions for the last 20 months. AUDFA strongly demands that this letter of explanation should be withdrawn with immediate effect,” they said.

Earlier, AUD’s PR office had defended its decision to The Indian Express, saying the event was a “University-level programme” and that “as per the records, some members of Karampura faculty were on duty but were not seen on campus”. It had said the letters had been sent to “know where they were during working hours”.

The teachers concerned, however, had said the invitation sent to them only said their “presence was requested” and not that it was “mandatory”.

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