DTF candidates for DUTA elections
The Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) will go to polls on 29 August 2013 to elect its new President and team of Executive members for a fresh term. Close to ten thousand teachers will be expected to participate in the voting. The DUTA elections will be held in an extremely hostile climate as the University Administration has refused to enter into any dialogue or negotiation with the representative body of teachers in the last few years. While all issues affecting teachers have been put on the back-burner, the Administration is busy bulldozing restructuring academic programmes unmindful of its disastrous implications for quality and equal access. The University administration continues to heap indignities on teachers by stalling permanent appointments, postponing promotion and through imposition of working conditions which are antithetical to teachers’ role. Despite orchestrated moves to isolate the DUTA and impose its own anarchic will on teachers, the University Administration has been unsuccessful, owing largely to the extensive mass campaigns through which the Democratic Teachers’ Front (DTF), leading the DUTA and mobilizing large numbers of teachers and students, has time and again put it on the defensive.
Many young teachers have lost their jobs due to drastic fluctuations in workload after the forced introduction of the semester-system and the FYUP. Promotional avenues have been blocked by the anti-academic scheme stipulated by the Government and the deliberate delay by the University Administration. The growing alienation within the teaching community due to the absence of permanent appointments, promotions and the lack of sensitivity towards the basic rights and entitlements of ad-hoc teachers, women teachers and the differently-abled sections is a major challenge for the DUTA. The University continues to deny justice to SC, ST and OBC teachers by refusing to implement the 2006 UGC Guidelines on Reservations and the uniform Roster of teaching posts in its colleges and departments. While the DUTA has been highlighting these issues in the last couple of years, their resolution depends on a sustained and energetic movement based on mass-teachers’ action.
The DTF intends to consolidate the teachers’ movement and intensify the DUTA’s fight against the callous University Administration and the policy assault by the Government in Higher Education. To this end, the DTF has decided to field one of its most-seasoned activists, Nandita Narain for the post of President in the DUTA elections. Nandita Narain is an Associate Professor of Mathematics in St. Stephen’s College. She has been twice member of the Academic Council and twice of the Executive Council and has been at the forefront of teachers’ struggles over long years.
For the DUTA Executive, the DTF has decided to field a panel of four combative activists:
- Saikat Ghosh (Asst. Professor, English, SGTB Khalsa College),
- Dev Kumar (Asst. Professor, Hindi, Rajdhani College),
- Bhupinder Chaudhary (Assoc. Professor, History, Maharaja Agrasen College)
- Vijaya Venkataraman (Assoc. Professor, Spanish, Arts Faculty),
Saikat Ghosh and Dev Kumar are currently members of the DUTA Executive and are being fielded for a second term. Bhupinder Chaudhry and Vijaya Venkataraman have both been members of the Academic Council and have years of experience as leading activists behind them.
Through this panel, the DTF wants to send a strong message to teachers that a spirited and honest struggle for their jobs, their service conditions and academic and social justice in the University is paramount in its agenda.
The DTF also wishes to restore the culture of informed debate and sensitive dialogue in the University by giving a fitting reply to lumpen interests that have been aiding the current University Administration in its systematic bid to crush such a culture and silence all voices of dissent.