The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) Friday made further changes to Delhi University’s August 28 circular in order to give relief to ad hoc teachers, after discussions with the Vice-Chancellor and other senior officials of the UGC and MHRD.
However, MHRD officials said the demand for automatic absorption of ad hoc teachers would not be met. Hundreds of ad hoc teachers had continued protesting at the V-C office last night despite the changes made to the circular due to certain contentious clauses. The Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) said the strike will continue.
In its ‘record of discussions’ Thursday, the MHRD had amended the last paragraph of the August 28 letter to read, “Colleges/institutions shall fill up permanent vacancies before the start of the next academic session without fail. During the interim period, if vacancies which have to be filled for maintaining smooth academic functioning of colleges/institutions, ad hoc/temporary/contract/guest faculty can be appointed.”
The part that rattled teachers, however, said, “It is expected that all ad hoc teachers worked or working in the current academic year shall continue till the beginning of the next academic session or till recruitment of permanent faculty, whichever is earlier.”
Luvkush, a Hindi ad hoc teacher from Kalindi College, was among those who camped overnight at the V-C office. “The MHRD report in effect ensures our continuation only till the next session. What will happen after that? Also, our main issue is absorption. We won’t move till that happens,” he said.
On Friday, MHRD replaced “the colleges/institutions shall fill up permanent vacancies before the start of the next academic session without fail” with “colleges/institutions shall fill up permanent vacancies in a time-bound manner”.
It also removed ambiguity over ad hoc teachers continuing “till the beginning of next academic session” or “till recruitment of permanent faculty”, by removing the former condition.
DUTA welcomed the letter but said the “primary demand of the UGC Regulation for the one-time absorption of ad hoc and temporary teachers on the basis of 200-point DOPT roster still remains unfulfilled”.
“Therefore, we have resolved to recommend to the DUTA general body meeting (which is to meet Saturday) for the continuance of the indefinite strike along with action programmes to clinch the same,” said DUTA president Rajib Ray.
As part of the protest, teachers have boycotted examination and evaluation duties.
An MHRD official, however, said, “We want to clarify that regularisation of ad hoc appointments is simply not possible not only because it is not borne out of any rule/regulation/legal pronouncement, but because it would wreck recruitment process across all universities. So, we chose the second best option of ensuring protection of their posts, and also providing just opportunity to become regular faculty through interview process.”
Meanwhile, the DU Registrar in a statement said “senior academicians of the University, including the Deans of some faculties,” had “unanimously and unequivocally condemned the violence and damage to the University property” when ad hoc teachers stormed the V-C’s office earlier this week. He said an appeal was made for “immediate withdrawal of the agitation”, which was started by “some teachers” who were “carried away by rumours”.