The Delhi University Executive Council meeting on Monday ended abruptly as no consensus could be reached on the proposal to mark attendance for teachers.

A decision on the proposal has been deferred until the next EC meeting.

EC member Shom Dutta Sharma, who is a representative of the University court, said: “We wanted the proposal to be dropped from the EC agenda. But when this was not agreed to, we wanted that there should be a discussion on whether the proposal should feature on the EC agenda.”

“There is no connection between the proposal and the objective it wishes to achieve. Teacher accountability cannot be determined by attendance. Teachers can give their attendance and still not take classes. Also they will have to spend a certain amount of time on campus whether or not they have classes. According to the proposed move, teachers will have to mark their attendance at the time of entering and leaving the colleges,” he added.“The service conditions of teachers are under deliberation by the University Grants Commission. Until such time the UGC does not lay down the regulations, the service conditions should not be brought up in the EC,” Mr. Sharma said.

Teacher representative on the EC Rajib Ray said: “We submit our attendance to the college every term. In case of absenteeism there are existing mechanisms for monitoring.”

DU Vice-Chancellor Prof. Deepak Pental said: “We want to ensure that teachers are putting in their minimum quota of work every week. For this we need a community-based monitoring mechanism.”

“We do not want to force anything on anyone. But an item cannot be simply dropped from the EC agenda. It needs to be discussed. There is also a certain method for discussion. At the EC meeting, first the zero hour happens following which items on the agenda are discussed. The proposal to mark attendance for teachers was item number four or five. The EC cannot be forced to discuss items listed in the agenda out of turn,” Prof. Pental added.

Meanwhile, the Delhi University Teachers’ Association observed a strike on Monday to protest against the proposal.

No decisions related to other items on the EC agenda could be taken at the meeting. At present only professors who have served continuously for seven years can go on a sabbatical.

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