A section of Delhi University teachers have stated that those among them who are opposed to the four-year undergraduate course are not representative of the entire teaching community. They were also sharply critical of the Delhi University Teachers’ Association’s recent agitations which, they said, had only alienated the university administration from its teachers.
“There is also a big section of us who welcome the four-year course; we think it is the best thing to happen to Delhi University. Inter-disciplinary learning is something that is long coming. We are all excited at the prospect of the new course and think it is a very good thing for students to have the freedom to learn across disciplines,” said political science teacher and Academic Council member Suman Sharma. She added that her only wish was that something like this had been possible during her student days.
The teachers said that the university had been most liberal and inclusive while making the four-year course and arguments like it “benefits only the rich students” that the “Left” was propagating were not true. “Children go abroad to study the four-year course, it is a good thing that a poor kid in Delhi can have access to the same model,” said another teacher Mani Bhushan.
“In the name of opposing academic reforms, the Left is holding the entire teaching community to ransom,” said former DUTA president and current Executive Council member Aditya Narayan Misra, who belongs to the Congress-affiliated Academics for Action and Development.
“The current DUTA leadership has unsuccessfully carried out agitations on non-issues and have not done anything for the betterment of teachers. They have only antagonised the administration time and again and this has resulted in the administration refusing to engage with the DUTA on any issue. This attitude has only disadvantaged the teachers,” he added.
“DUTA not the same”
“In the last few struggles, there were very few teachers who joined the protests, most are scared of administrative action and are disenchanted with the way the DUTA has failed to address their issues. This was not so a few years ago,” said former DUTA vice-president and current Academic Council member Sanjay Kumar.
The teachers also claimed that in the earlier days the condition of the ad hoc teachers was better. “Now the university conducts interviews once in four months. It is difficult for a teacher to function properly if his employment comes under question every four months,” added Mr. Misra. “Many of them are in their 30s and have Ph.Ds, it’s just not right,” added Ms. Sharma.
“The diversionary tactics of the Left and their deflective engagement of the university system in non-issues have resulted in the inordinate delay in the approval of service conditions. The permanent appointment of more than 4,000 ad-hoc teachers, promotions and implementation of professorships in the colleges has been blocked,” added Mr. Kumar.
“Despite activities of the opposing teachers, the university has communicated to many colleges regarding the permanent appointment of teachers by the end of June and this act should be appreciated,” added Mr. Misra.