The meeting with the Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar to find a solution to the UGC’s March 5 notification on the reservation roster failed to show any result as the Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) continued with its evaluation boycott on Wednesday.
The DUTA escalated its protest and reached out to the public across the city to create a wider awareness about the “adverse ramifications” of the reservation roster issue and other “policy attacks” that will result in “social exclusion and loss of academic talent” in public-funded institutions of higher education.
“We brought to the knowledge of people that more than 4,000 teaching posts lay vacant in DU because the university and colleges failed to make permanent placements despite a High Court order to fill all teaching posts within a stipulated time frame. The fate of more than 4,000 ad hoc teachers teaching against these vacant positions now lie in jeopardy with the UGC directing the university and colleges to change the teaching roster,” said DUTA president Rajib Ray.
However, several final-year undergraduate students have grown anxious after the evaluation boycott has not come to an end.
Hampering future plans
They are worried that a resultant delay in results would hamper their admission to various colleges within the country and abroad.
The worst affected are those seeking admission to foreign universities and private universities in India.
“I am leaving for Geneva in August. Before that I need some result-related documentation in hand. Otherwise, I will lose the 100% scholarship offer that I have received from the institute, apart from ₹70,000 which I have deposited as security,” said Paras Arora, a political science student from DU who will be joining the Graduate Institute in Geneva in September.
Private universities like Christ University and Tata Institute of Social Sciences have already started their classes.
For Rupal who has enrolled herself in the institute, the deadline to submit her results is August. Failure to do so would lead to double loss — her seat and the fee amount.
Moreover, a number of students looking forward to admissions to DU face a dilemma — whether to wait for the merit list or sit for the entrance exam.
The uncertainty has mounted stress levels of students, who are finding it hard to make decision. This has, in turn, affected their future plans. Blaming the teachers for the situation, several students said it was high time the teachers took their plight into account.
On the other hand, a few students like Paras found the situation to be complex.
“The teachers are fighting for the student community. However, the exhaustion of students coupled with administrative laxity might end up making them the real culprit in the eyes of the students,” he said.
Appreciating the concern of some students and students’ organisations, which had raised concerns about the future of students, the DUTA said, “We hope that they understand that unless the UGC’s March 5 notification on the reservation roster is put in abeyance, thousands of ad hoc faculty members will be displaced in colleges and departments of DU in July, when the new session begins. Teachers will also lose their vacation salaries for May and June.”
‘Not getting pension’
They added that teachers in DU are also desperate because they have not got promotions in the 10 years. Retired teachers are not getting any pension, which has led to an urgent crisis that teachers and students need to collectively address.
The DUTA reiterated that it has been forced to go on an evaluation boycott as nobody in the government or DU administration were listening to their concerns.