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DUTA polls: faultlines appear over seniority

With the Delhi University Teachers’ Association elections scheduled to be held on August 27,the main contenders — Vandana Sharma of Indian National Teachers’ Congress...

Written by Deepu Sebastian Edmond | New Delhi |
August 25, 2009 1:03:14 am

With the Delhi University Teachers’ Association elections scheduled to be held on August 27,the main contenders — Vandana Sharma of Indian National Teachers’ Congress (INTEC) and incumbent DUTA president Aditya Narayan Misra — have started accusing each other of trying to split the DUTA along seniority lines.

“The assistant professors — newcomers to DUTA politics who are a sizeable group — have got a raw deal under the new Pay Commission and DUTA has done nothing about it,” said Sharma,the DUTA presidential candidate of the Congress-supported INTEC.

Dismissing the view,incumbent DUTA president Misra said,“The present DUTA has ensured that university professors get a better deal than IAS officers in the first 14 years of service. We have worked for the entire teaching community.”

Misra,who had won with the support of the Congress,is now in the fray under the banner of Academics for Action and Development (AAD),which he claims is apolitical.

“DUTA is a trade union and it is important to stay away from political parties and governments,to maintain our autonomy. Even with the support of the Congress,the DUTA had to fight for the implementation of the Pay Commission,” said Misra.

“The Congress leadership respects the autonomy of an organisation like the DUTA,and will not interfere in its internal matters. The party has given a free hand to autonomous institutions throughout its history,” said Health Minister Kiran Walia,a former DUTA activist.

The Congress presidential candidate,however,agrees that it will be an advantage if the party is in power. “We will be in a better position to negotiate our demands. At the same time,the presence of former DUTA activists in power can help us get our needs across,” said Vandana Sharma.

Walia and Sharma recently met the Minister of Human Resources Development Kapil Sibal with a memorandum of needs. The minister,according to them,has promised to look into them “seriously and on an urgent basis.”

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