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Tuesday, December 07, 2021

DUTA election: Ad hoc teachers form group, pitch their own presidential candidate

Ad hoc teachers have not contested in the past for DUTA positions, though they vote in the elections. Since DUTA is not a registered body and not a part of the University administration, Azmi said that she does not expect any obstruction to her nomination.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: November 12, 2021 10:35:17 am
An official order was issued by Vinay Kaushik, Deputy Director, DHE on December 3 to the colleges. There are a total of 28 such colleges, twelve of which are fully funded by the Delhi government. (File)

With the stated aim of representing their interests themselves, a group of Delhi University ad hoc teachers have decided to support a presidential candidate from among themselves in the upcoming Delhi University Teachers’ Association election.

The election is scheduled for November 26, and individuals can file their nominations for candidature on November 17. Shabana Azmi, an ad hoc teacher in the Political Science department of Zakir Husain college, has decided that she will contest for the post of DUTA president representing a newly created ad hoc teachers’ organisation called the Ad hoc Teachers’ Front.

The primary push issue that this front represents, she said, is that of a policy of one-time absorption of ad hoc teachers in the university. There are around 4500 ad hoc teachers engaged in Delhi University. Azmi herself has been working on an ad hoc basis for the past ten years.

“So many of the ad hoc teachers in DU have been working for many years and there have been no interviews for permanent recruitment in many colleges. In some college departments, such as my department in my college, they had last been held in 2010… We are working on unequal terms and conditions even though we have the same qualifications and so many years of experience. We work in a precarious situation with four month long contracts, without access to leaves and have been working on the basic pay scale all these years.”

In 2019, there had been a long protest led by DUTA for one-time absorption of ad hoc teachers which had resulted in a decision between the UGC, then MHRD and Delhi University that all permanent posts be filled soon and the norms for shortlisting candidates for interviews for assistant professor appointments would be tweaked in favour ad hoc teachers by giving greater weightage to their work experience.

“This is still not implemented. We feel that DUTA has not been pressuring the government enough for our jobs. Given our number and since our issues are so pressing, we want to strengthen our voice by representing ourselves,” she said.

Ad hoc teachers have not contested in the past for DUTA positions, though they vote in the elections. Since DUTA is not a registered body and not a part of the University administration, Azmi said that she does not expect any obstruction to her nomination.

“Because we can be terminated at the end of four months, people have been scared of taking part in these elections,” she said.

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