May 13, 2021 10:55:22 pm
In a jolt to the teaching community, Delhi University’s Daulat Ram College (DRC) has lost two teachers to Covid-19 in the last three days.
Dr Amar Jyoti (43) from the Zoology department succumbed to the virus on May 11, and Dr Tarun Chowdhary (33) from the Physics department died Thursday, said DRC Principal Savita Roy. While Jyoti was a permanent appointee, Chowdhary was an Ad Hoc teacher.
Their deaths add to a growing list of deaths in the university campus. As on date, roughly 30 teachers have died of Covid in DU. Earlier, Kirori Mal College had also lost two teachers to the virus in a span of a few weeks.
Roy said Jyoti had been employed in DRC since 2016 and was a “gem of a person”. “He was a very bright scientist. He was handling projects, and had two PhD students registered with him. He was always smiling and would do every task that was given to him. I have never seen him yelling at anyone. He was the Convenor of the Purchase Committee, as also the Convenor of the Timetable Committee,” said Roy.
“During the pandemic last year, he had his second child – a daughter. Now he has left behind his one-year-old daughter, a 10-year-old son and wife. It is very tragic,” she said.
Roy said Chowdhury was the sole breadwinner of the family. “He was an Ad hoc faculty who joined us in August 2018. He was very bright, and was also a very good chess player. He was a man of few words. His father was no more, so he was the only financial support for his mother,” she said.
In a message, Chowdhury’s PhD supervisor Nivedita Deo remembered him as “a true son of India, a promising scientist, dedicated teacher and a great human being”.
“He was a brilliant student… He creatively arrived at solutions of these problems on his own. He had the rare ability to analytically solve complicated problems at the frontiers of physics. He did not apply for post-doctoral positions abroad because he wanted to work in India… In addition to regular coursework he was inspiring undergraduates to do research projects. He would go out of his way to help people, especially his friends,” she said.
As per decisions by the newly formulated Delhi University Teachers’ Welfare Fund (DUTWF), which had become defunct, nominees and legal heirs of Ad hoc teachers who passed away on or after March 1 this year will also now be eligible for an ex-gratia payment of Rs 5 lakh. Earlier, the DUTWF only went to permanent teachers who were members.
Principal Roy, who’s also a member of the DUTWF Managing Committee, said with it being activated once again she hoped they would receive financial assistance. “I have to finish all the paperwork and formalities, and submit the proforma to the Treasurer which will be processed very quickly. I’ve conveyed the message to the families, once they’re comfortable, they will come and complete the paperwork,” she said.
On May 10, the DUTWF wrote to principals/heads of departments to “immediately transfer the stalled subscription of the members for all the months along with the details of the members”. It also increased monthly membership fee from Rs 50 to Rs 100.
The DUTWF has also revised the medical and financial assistance rates. Earlier in case of death of the member, those 50 years and above (up to retirement) were eligible for Rs 2.4 lakh, those 40 years and up to 50 years Rs 2.8 lakh, and those below 40 years Rs 3.2 lakh. This has now been increased to Rs 6 lakh, Rs 8 lakh, and Rs 10 lakh respectively.
Similarly, while earlier medical assistance rates were “70 percent of the amount of the bills not reimbursed by the College/ Department/University or Rs 1,50,000/- whichever is less”, it has now been revised to “75 percent of the unclaimed bill amount or not reimbursed by the College/ Department/ University or Rs 2,50,000/- whichever is less”.
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