Beyond Rhetoric: Issues before teachers

Discussion in EC meeting on DU Press Release of 29 November

At the very outset of the EC meeting on 30-11-2016, the elected EC members sought a clarification on the DU Press Release. The elected representatives communicated their shock at the Press Release of the University that has created confusion amongst teachers as the feedback of the AC members did not coincide with the version put out by the University. The Press Release was not acceptable as the understanding of the House was that the entire matter was deferred and also because the teachers of Physical Education and Librarians have been mentioned as “Group A positions in the Library and Physical Education cadre in the non-teaching category”. I added that the confusion could have been avoided had the Committee been expanded in July itself as promised to the DUTA. Both representatives urged him to expand the Committee immediately to include AC & EC members and to clear the confusion which the Press Release had caused.

On the matter of Librarians, I wish to add that the University non-teaching Employees (Terms and Conditions of service) Rules-2013, adopted on 17-8-2013, included Librarians and other non-teaching academic staff in Annexure 1 as Group A. I took up this issue several times in previous EC meetings. In the EC meeting of 28-5-2015, while discussing the agenda on CAS 2010 for Librarians, I once again raised this matter, stressing the fact that they are non-vacational academic staff and should be governed by rules laid down for teachers. The House had agreed to rectify the mistake but nothing has been done so far. I raised this matter again in the Zero hour and demanded that the Registrar notifies it immediately. (See letter to VC dt 11-9-2015 and letter to Registrar dt 25-7-2016)

The DUTA has to ensure the protection of the status of Librarians and teachers of Physical Education. The elected members in the Expanded Committee should ensure appropriate amendments to existing ordinances for appointment and promotions of Assistant Professors in Physical Education in Colleges.

Demand for Regularisation

The demand for regularization is the immediate concern considering the fact that large numbers of teachers have been serving the university for long years. It is DUTA’s task to prepare modalities that will enable regularisation of temporary teachers and long-serving adhoc. The infirmities in the roster need to be addressed immediately and the interests of those long-serving adhocs who have been displaced, for one reason or the other, has to be kept in mind. The modalities must be debated in the Executive, Staff Associations and the DUTA General Body and adopted so that they can be taken up with the University Administration.

In Delhi University, the composition of Selection Committees was manipulated by Prof Dinesh Singh and same experts were sent to colleges for making appointments. This was done in select few Departments and colleges. A large number of long-serving adhocs were displaced and the feedback of colleges was disregarded completely.

The appointment process must begin with no delay through a transparent and accountable recruitment policy. The DUTA position is that 100% weightage must not be given to interviews by the selection committee and that the composition of the Selection Committees be corrected such that the rotation principle of not repeating any expert till the entire list is exhausted be strictly adhered to. Adequate weightage must be given to teaching experience to protect the interests of long serving adhocs.

UGC Regulations 2010, 2nd Amendment

The 2nd Amendment was gazetted in 2013 and adopted by DU on 17-8-2013. In fact, the University adopted API for the first time. The Committee set up by Dinesh Singh, for drafting ordinances as per the 2nd UGC Amendment, had the following elected teacher representatives: A.K. Bhagi (NDTF), Rajesh Jha (AADitya), A M Khan (INTEC), Sanjay Kumar (INTEC) and Sunaina Kanojia (had contested as INTEC). Two members dissented in the EC – Ajay Kumar (Member of the Court) and Abha Dev Habib. No other member dissented. At present, promotion of teachers in DU are governed by the 2nd Amendment and will continue to be so until the 4th Amendment is adopted. The unreasonable capping introduced by the 2nd Amendment has made promotions near impossible. We know that many other universities, including Central Universities, have also not adopted the capping.

4th Amendment

The 4th Amendment, which was notified after a united DUTA struggle in the harsh summer months against the 3rd Amendment with its draconian workload norms and API scores impossible to achieve, was a partial victory. It defined direct teaching hours for the first time ever and included tutorials, field-work and practicals. It restored workload norms of 14/16 hours and removed students’ feedback for teachers’ promotions.

While the 4th Amendment has given partial relief by removing capping in Category III and by counting points in Category II and III together, it has several negative features which must be fought against. The DUTA must fight for the following:

  1. Time spent on teaching must include direct teaching hours as well as the equal time spent on preparation of classes.
  2. Time spent on Internal Assessment must be included as a part of Examination work.
  3. The insistence on publications in UGC listed journals must be replaced with publication in known journals of each discipline.
  4. Teachers on Leave must be given appropriate relaxation depending on the nature of Leave.
  5. Counting of Orientation & Refresher Courses in Category III must be restored.
  6. Counting of past service at all stages of promotion.

The AC and EC members on the Drafting Committee set up by the University must ensure maximum relief for all teachers on all the above issues.

Retrospective implementation of API

The matter of retrospective implementation of API in Delhi University remains to be addressed. It has been raised by DUTA delegations to the VC and several representations have been submitted. It was also raised in the AC and the EC meetings of 29 and 30 November. It was taken up in the EC in a strong voice by both elected members. The case of appointment of the ARSD Principal was also pointed out, where both DU and UGC have argued for the old scheme. The fight against the retrospective implementation has to continue and the legal options must be pursued seriously.

The UGC, by repeatedly amending the API system, has recognized that capping is unreasonable and hence, it should be removed for all teachers governed by the 2nd Amendment.

Fight for Roll Back of API

Despite continuous struggle, DUTA has not been able to get the irrational API system withdrawn. The fact that the PBAS-API has been repeatedly amended shows the flaws inherent in the system. Denial of promotions to teachers across the country is a reality and the MHRD and UGC must be made to realise that it has to be withdrawn completely. The joint All India struggle against API must continue.

Abha Dev Habib
Member, Executive Council
Secretary, DTF

  1. DU Press Release 29-11-16
  2. Recommendation of Ad hoc Committee on Appointments and Promotions (AC Agenda 29-11-16)
  3. UGC Regulations 2010, 2nd Amendment
  4. UGC Regulations 2010, 3rd Amendment
  5. UGC Regulations 2010, 4th Amendment
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