NEW DELHI: The Union HRD Ministry on Thursday intervened in the matter of yet another central institution of higher education — Delhi University — and directed that provision of ad-hoc teachers in the university will continue at least for the next academic session. The development comes as the row from DU reached the doorstep of the ministry even as a massive crisis over a proposed hike in hostel fee in JNU remains unsolved.
Senior ministry officials, on Thursday, after holding separate meetings with DU vice-chancellor Yogesh Tyagi and teachers’ representatives said that the government will ask the university administration to withdraw an August 28 letter sent out to principals of all colleges which had said that only guest lecturers be hired on hourly-basis while system of ad-hoc appointments should end. The principals of DU colleges had been citing the circular to deny renewal of the contracts of about 4,500 ad-hoc teachers when their terms came to an end in mid-November.
“It’s an immediate relief that we have got but our fight to get ad-hoc teachers absorbed as permanent teachers will continue,” said DU teachers’ association president Rajib Ray. In addition to nearly 4,600 regular teachers, ad-hoc teachers comprise 2/3rd to 1/3rd teaching strength in most DU colleges. These ad-hoc teachers, whose pay scale is similar to assistant professors minus various perks, get their contract renewed every four months since 2010 when the policy for ad-hoc teachers was adopted.
In August, the DU administration in a circular issued to the principals of all colleges had said that they should hire only guest lecturers, paid on an hourly basis, to fill up vacancies. “There are some guest lecturers in DU who get around Rs 35,000 per month on an average,” said Abha Deb Habib, treasurer of DUTA. “If they want PhD candidates to teach in such conditions what will happen to the quality of higher education?”