Delhi University teachers staged a protest outside the vice-chancellor's office on Wednesday over the demand of absorption of ad-hoc teachers in the varsity. "To express the collective anger at the failure of the government and the vice-chancellor to resolve their long-standing demands, thousands of teachers turned up in large numbers outside the gate number 1 of V-C office on Wednesday," Delhi University Teachers' Association (DUTA) president Rajib Ray said.
The success of the shutdown is a testimony to the fact that the teachers are unwilling to tolerate the government's "single-minded agenda" to destroy public-funded education, Ray said. Elaborating about the reason behind the protest, professor Neenu Kumar from Aditi Mahavidyalaya, said, "We have three main demands. First, we are demanding the absorption of all ad-hoc teachers. Second, there are many teachers who are waiting for their promotion as they did not get promotion since 2007, 2008 etc. And third is that the retired teachers are not getting their pension. Their pension is not being settled and the university is not giving them a pension."
"We fall under (the) old-promotion scheme called Merit Promotion Scheme (MPS), which was started in 1998. Under this, we got promotion long back, but now we are not getting anything as (the) V-C is not doing anything at all," she said. Apart from the push to privatisation and commercialisation, the realisation that thousands are languishing without permanent jobs, promotions have become a distant proposition for most teachers and pensioners are facing huge setbacks has pushed all sections of DU teachers on the warpath, Ray added.
On the other hand, several teachers continued their indefinite hunger strike outside the arts faculty. Many of them had joined the protest outside the V-C office, teachers said. The strike of the ad-hoc teachers, who are demanding the same benefits the permanent teachers are getting, entered its sixth day. Many teachers are participating in the strike as they want to draw the attention of the "irresponsible" government and the university administration, they said.
(With inputs from agencies.)