85.5 pc voter turnout in DU Teachers' Association polls

PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 27-09-2023 18:38 IST | Created: 27-09-2023 18:38 IST
85.5 pc voter turnout in DU Teachers' Association polls
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A total of 85.5 per cent of 9,500 eligible voters exercised their franchise in the Delhi University Teachers' Association (DUTA) elections held on Wednesday in which the prime contenders are the RSS-backed National Democratic Teachers Front (NDTF) and the Democratic United Teachers' Alliance (D.U.T.A.).

This time, around nine teachers' organisations from different ideologies have formed an alliance named 'Democratic United Teachers' Alliance'.

The alliance includes groups like Democratic Teachers' Front (DTF), AAP-backed Academic for Action and Development Delhi Teachers' Association (AADTA), Indian National Teachers Congress (INTEC), Delhi Teachers' Initiative (DTI), Samajwadi Shikshak Manch (SSM), Common Teachers' Front (CTF), Independent Teachers' Front for Social Justice (ITF-SJ) and 'voice of DU Ad hocs'.

While the NDTF had won the DUTA elections last time (in 2021), the DTF won the polls five times in a row prior to 2021. The polling commenced at 10 am and ended at 5 pm.

A total of 8,187 out of 9,500 eligible voters exercised their franchise in the polling held Wednesday.

The NDTF has fielded AK Bhagi, who had won the president's post in teachers' body polls last time. The D.U.T.A, on the other hand, fielded Aditya Narayan Mishra as their joint candidate.

Mishra, who held the post of president of Delhi University Teacher's Association president for three terms, said their alliance has emerged as ''a formidable force'' to safeguard the rights of teachers at the varsity.

He alleged that the DU has taken a loan of several crores of rupees and the varsity's financial burden may have a direct impact on students.

Mishra said the aim of the alliance of nine teachers' groups is to unite for securing the institution's future.

''DU has incurred a loan of Rs 1,100 crore, a financial burden that is likely to have a direct impact on students. It's unprecedented in the history of DU to witness nine teacher organisations uniting for the common goal of securing the institution's future,'' Mishra told PTI.

V S Negi, general secretary of NDTF, told PTI, ''Teachers will support AK Bhagi this time as well. The alliance formed by teachers' associations from different ideologies is only spreading negativity. There were 3,000 teachers who were recently appointed and out of them 2,200 teachers were ad hocs. We will press that their experience as ad hoc be counted as part of their services.'' Highlighting the issues of the teachers amid the election, DU professor Rahul Kumar alleged that the DU teachers have faced troubles due to delayed promotion and salaries.

''Promotions, salary increments for teachers delayed due to government funding issues. Equally distressing is the fact that teachers are not receiving their pensions,'' he alleged.

Ruby Mishra, a chemistry teacher at Deshbandu College, alleged that there has been a prolonged freeze on new appointments, leaving many teachers, who served for an extended period, in uncertain positions.

''Colleges are struggling financially, making it difficult to meet payroll obligations,'' Ruby Mishra added.

Another professor, who teaches at Motilal Nehru college, claimed that the roles and responsibilities of teachers are ''under threat'' as they lack autonomy in course structure and syllabus.

''We have no control over exam schemes. Displacement of teachers within the university is a pressing issue. There is an absence of regulations and security for faculty members. We advocate for permanent positions and job security, especially for guest teachers,'' he said.

''Many faculty members have dedicated 10 to 15 years to the university, and job security is the least we can request,'' he added.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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