DU colleges dependent on temporary staff

September 24, 2014

It seems it's the ad hoc teachers, not the permanent faculty who are running the show in most of the Delhi University colleges. Right from teaching, conducting exams and evaluating answer-scripts, the varsity is very much dependent on the services of 5,000 temporary staff. Sources say that delay in appointing permanent teachers has also compounded the problem.

Things have come to such a pass that in colleges such as SRCC, Daulat Ram, Dyal Singh (evening), Swami Shraddhanand, ARSD and Maharaja Agrasen, the number of ad hoc teachers is far more than that of the permanent ones. A close look at the situation reveals that most of these colleges have violated UGC regulations, which state that teachers should be appointed on contract basis only when it is absolutely necessary and their number should not exceed 10% of the total number of faculty positions in a college or university

Even in colleges where ad-hoc teachers have not outnumbered the permanent faculty members, the situation continues to be grim. For instance, Kirori Mal has 90 ad-hoc posts as against 120 permanent faculties, while SGTB Khalsa is running the show with 67 ad hoc teachers as against 83 permanent ones. Similarly in Dyal Singh (morning) there are as many as 116 ad-hocs as against 128 permanent teachers, while at Satyawati (evening) there are 52 ad-hocs and 53 permanent. And at Ram Lal Anand (evening) its 35 in each category.

Sources say though the university has ushered in reforms in various spheres, "no one really seems to have taken the issue of filling up of permanent vacancies seriously". "It is unfortunate that even teachers' groups have played politics over the issue. The university administration, UGC and the ministry of human resource development, too, have not shown much interest in it all these years," said J Khuntiya, chairman, Academics for Action and Development (Rathi).

Meanwhile, ad hoc teachers have formed a forum to fight for their rights.

One of its coordinators, Prerna Malhotra, has been an ad hoc teacher for seven years before losing her job this summer. She left her permanent job at the Indian Council of Agricultural Research in 2005 to be a teacher. Malhotra said: "Teachers with very strong academic credentials, with eight to 10 years of teaching experience in the university and good publications to their credit are compelled to lead a very uncertain and insecure professional life. Since permanent appointments have not taken place for a long time in many of the colleges, their future is in lurch. Moreover, they are overage for other jobs. Even UGC and other bodies do not sanction them research projects."

However, DU says delay was due to certain changes in appointment rules. "In 2010, point-based system was introduced by the University Grants Commission. Many universities, including Delhi University, wrote to the ministry of human resource development to reconsider the decision. Then a committee was constituted to look into the problem of the new regulations. The panel gave its recommendation and the new rules were notified in 2013. Therefore, between 2010 and 2013 there was a virtual freeze in appointment as DU was not in favour of the point-based system," said media coordinator, Malay Neerav.

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