Monday| 13 June 2016: On Friday, 10 June 2016, New Delhi witnessed a protest of more than four thousand teachers against the new MHRD regulations. The teachers wore black sashes around their heads and held a “Kalli Patti”march from Mandi House to Shastri Bhavan.
The police erected a barricade preventing the rally from going beyond Feroz Shah Road. Thousands of teachers and students broke the barricade and courted arrested. Prof. Raghuvansh Prasad Singh of RJD is among those who courted arrest. The number of detainees is unclear, ranging from seven hundred to a thousand, reports suggest.
The protestors included teachers associations from Jamia, Delhi University and IGNOU and various students’ organisations such as CYSS, Disha, KYS, NSUI, SFI and SYS.
The participants also included many assistant and ad hoc professors from DU who are ex-JNU students, and whose jobs may now be at stake.
“The rally was addressed by political leaders like Shri Nilotpal Basu, CPI(M), Shri K C Tyagi, JD(U), and Prof Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, RJD, apart from Office Bearers of various teachers and students organisations. Shri Deepender Huda (Congress) and Shri Sharad Yadav, JD(U) conveyed their solidarity with the protest. Shri Bashisht Narain Singh, JD(U) and MPs from various Left parties have written letters to the HRD Minister expressing support for the teachers’ demands” said DUTA in their press release.
This protest has come in the light of the Third Amendment Notification 2016 of the U.G.C which alters workload norms for varsity teaching and also includes the A.P.I – Performance Based Appraisal System, which determines parameters for promotions.
The direct teaching hours have been increased for all categories of professors both ad-hoc and permanent. Tutorials are no longer considered a part of this time-frame. Two hours of practical classes/labs are reduced to one lecture in terms of weightage thereby increasing the burden for science teachers to match the required minimum.
Ad hoc and temporary teaching staff are hired on a contractual basis to complement the existing teaching staff at meeting the current workload. Altering and increasing working hours can lead to a loss of jobs for ad hoc and temporary teachers, many who have worked for years to get regularised. A change in the promotion parameters further dampens their hopes. The teachers thus demanded a clear and written assurance from the MHRD that the workload norms will remain unchanged and that tutorials and practicals be included within the direct teaching hours with full weightage.
The executive body of DUTA today decided to continue the evaluation boycott of undergraduate papers till Thursday. “The Executive also noted the complete lack of sensitivity on the part of the government in refusing to talk to the representatives of teachers, while planting stories in the media that their demands had been met. The DUTA executive demands an explicit announcement in writing so that normalcy can be restored at the earliest,” DUTA stated in a press release. The teachers’ body has also decided to hold a Satyagraha at Rajghat on Tuesday, 14 June, where representatives from various student and teachers’ associations and political parties are expected.
Image: DUTA members during a protest in 2014.
Image Courtesy: http://www.duta-du.info
- Divisha Srivastava is an MA student at School of International Studies, and works for The Informer.