Elections for Delhi University’s highest decision-making bodies, its Executive Council (EC) and Academic Council (AC), have been announced for 5 February 2015. The collective and democratic functioning of these statutory bodies has been severely undermined in recent times. The current Vice-Chancellor has stymied healthy discussion and debate on all vital academic and administrative matters and tried to reduce these bodies to mere rubber-stamps of approval for his dubious proposals and diktats that have been hostile to the interests of teachers, students and non-teaching staff of the University.
Unwilling to learn from the FYUP fiasco, the VC has continued to sabotage the functioning of AC and EC in order to push through vindictive and untenable decisions that adversely affect the appointment, promotions and pensions of teachers and non-teaching staff. The EC has also been arm-twisted into approving a set of modalities for the implementation of the Reservation Roster in teachers’ appointments which violate the Government’s Reservation Policy, undermine it and open up the scope for manipulations.
While the DTF, through its leadership in DUTA, has been instrumental in forging a united struggle of teachers, students and non-teaching staff against mindless academic restructuring like FYUP and other undemocratic measures of the university administration, its elected representatives in the AC and EC have played key roles in intervening and exposing the machinations of the University administration as well as articulating the university community’s collective opposition to commercialisation, violation of rules and regulations, corrupt practices like unauthorised funds diversion from the OBC Grant to buy FYUP laptops and for such purposes refusing to release the second tranche of the additional teaching posts sanctioned by the UGC for colleges on account of the 54% expansion in intake. They have unfailingly opposed manipulations of Selection Committees and the Reservation Roster (which have undermined the credibility of the selection process), assaults on teachers’ service conditions, the erosion of democratic norms and practices, and the imposisition of arbitrary and draconian code of conduct on teachers and illegitimate usurpation of disciplinary powers by the Vice-Chancellor.
The DTF stands committed to the fight for teachers’ rights and to struggles in defence of equity, access and quality of education. It seeks to restore democratic functioning of statutory bodies and the sanctity of rules. The DTF stands committed to the DUTA’s demands for the removal of Professor Dinesh Singh from the post of the Vice-Chancellor, and a Vistorial Enquiry into the administrative, financial and academic wrongdoings by him and the administration under him. It will continue to strive to ensure that the Government and the University Administration are held accountable for the decisions that adversely affect the entitlements and aspirations of students, University employees and the society at large. The DTF will strengthen the opposition to policy decisions that promote privatisation, exclusion and deny academic opportunities to economically disadvantaged sections, Dalits and backward castes and women. To this end, the DTF is fielding a team of combative activists as candidates for the elections to the EC and AC.
For the EC, Abha Dev Habib is being fielded for a second term. Her record as a dedicated, articulate and alert teachers’ representative is well known.
For the AC, the DTF has decided to field the following four candidates:
- Rudrashish Chakraborty (Dept. of English, Kirori Mal College)
- Sujeet Kumar (Dept. of Hindi, Delhi College of Arts and Commerce)
- V.S. Dixit (Dept. of Computer Science, ARSD College)
- Jyoti Sabharwal (Dept. of Germanic & Romance Studies, Arts Faculty)
Rudrashish Chakraborty and Sujeet Kumar have the experience of one term in the Academic Council behind them, during which they were among the few voices to argue against and record their opposition to the VC’s ill conceived “reforms” and arbitrary functioning. V.S.Dixit and Jyoti Sabharwal, who are contesting for the first time, have been activists of the teachers’ movement for several years.
The DTF appeals to the teaching community to lend generous support to its candidates and ensure that the entire panel is elected for an uncompromising struggle against misgovernance and academic injustice.