New Delhi: The Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) on Thursday protested against a recently issued university circular which has allowed appointments of guest teachers against full-time regular vacancies. The other issues raised by the teachers were the need for absorption of ad hoc teachers as permanent ones and the lack of promotion of permanent teachers for the last 10 years.
The colleges under the DU have many teachers who have been working on ad hoc basis for more than 10 to 15 years. On 28 August, a circular was issued to colleges advising them to “appoint guest faculty against all new vacancies arising for the first time in the new academic session”. This has created confusion in colleges and departments which are already reeling under a severe crunch of resources to carry out regular teaching. Also, thousands of ad hoc teachers are staring at an uncertain future with no clarity on jobs from the upcoming semester.
Abhisekh Parashar, an assistant professor in Aryabhat College, DU, told The Sunday Guardian: “I am an ad hoc teacher and my contract is going to finish mid-November. According to the circular, after the end of our contract, our posts will be converted into guest faculties. However, the DU administration has said that permanent positions will be filled up as soon as possible. In eight to nine colleges, the process has already started, but the pace is very tardy. So, I don’t think permanent posts will be filled up soon.”
Teachers in DU have long been demanding absorption of ad hoc teachers who have been working in the university for more than four years. In DU, around 4,500 teaching faculty are working on an ad hoc basis. Many teachers have alleged that they have been denied the chance of becoming permanent as the interviews were held sparsely and sporadically over the last 10 years.
Rajiv Ray, president of DUTA, said: “If some teacher is retiring or someone is on maternity or sabbatical leave, these posts should be filled either by permanent or by ad hoc appointments. But this new circular is asking colleges to take guest faculty for these posts.” On the status of permanent appointment of teachers, Ray added: “For several years, no permanent appointments have been made in the university, which is why we demanded absorption of the existing ad hoc teachers who have been working for four years and more.”
Echoing similar resentment over the circular, Nandita Narayan, ex-president of DUTA, told The Sunday Guardian: “The ad hoc teachers get inadequate salaries and they don’t get any increment or maternity leave. The DUTA has been demanding that these teachers be made permanent. But the university has now announced that any new vacancy which arises will be filled up on a guest basis. The guest lecturers are like daily wagers. They will now be allowed to take more than eight classes in a week. Now, with the issuance of the circular, the future prospects of ad hoc teachers will be completely ruined.”