Refuses to be bogged down by threats of punitive action

Despite stern warnings from Delhi University's administration, the Delhi University Teachers' Association has decided to go ahead with its day-long dharna outside the Vice-Chancellor's office on Thursday.

“We will assemble at the DUTA office at 9 a.m. and will march to the V-C's office around 10-30 a.m. where we will spend the whole day outside,” said DUTA member Abha Dev Habib.

The university Registrar's office had sent letters to all college principals stating that teachers' protesting in the university is illegal according to the standing orders of the High Court.

“The DUTA takes strong exception to the letters by the Registrar…that the university administration takes recourse to seemingly legal language in issuing illegal orders to stop teachers from highlighting serious issues affecting the university, to say the least, is unfortunate,” said the DUTA.

The letter had further stated that no leave was to be granted to any teachers on the day of the dharna except for medical or other emergencies and any teacher participating in the protest was to be treated as on leave without pay.

“The DUTA refuses to be bogged down by such threats of punitive action and appeals to teachers to join the peaceful DUTA dharna in large numbers. This show of solidarity shall be a fitting reply to the inert attitude of the V-C and his administrative echelons,” was the DUTA rejoinder.

Meanwhile, the university administration has appealed to all teachers to desist from participating in the dharna.

“The University of Delhi appeals to the entire university to cooperate in the smooth and productive functioning of the university. The needless path of confrontation adopted by the DUTA, whipped up on false propaganda is counter productive,” said a statement by the university administration.

The university, while stating that all the demands of the DUTA like immediate recruitments for around 4,000 teaching posts that are lying vacant, expeditious process of promotion and immediate release of pensions for retired, are already in the process of being met, has also promised a host of other facilities for teachers.

Full support for international travel for conferences for all college teachers, award of research grants to college teachers under the innovation scheme, a proactive child care leave policy and a new and exclusive grievance redressal mechanism for all teachers are some of the promises that the university has made.

“The university shall continue to engage in continuous discussion and dialogue with college and university teachers to bring about reforms …It appeals to the teaching community not to be misled by false and malicious propaganda…it should not participate in illegal dharnas,” said the university administration.