The Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) organized a one-day strike on May 27, to protest against the discontinuation of services of 12 ad-hoc teachers at Vivekananda College.
After April, their contracts were not renewed, and according to The Indian Express, 5 out of the 12 teachers were battling COVID19 when this notice about this decision was sent to them. Reportedly, out of the teachers whose services have been discontinued, four are OBCs and three are from Scheduled Castes and the majority were the sole breadwinners of their families.
Rajib Ray, the president of DUTA said that the “Acting Principal Dr. Nina Hindrajog has refused to listen to any voice of reason and is running the college as her fiefdom.”, The Indian Express reported.
According to Worker’sUnity, the teachers were removed citing ‘less workload’ but apprehensions are being raised about this reason because, without any significant change in the syllabus or teaching pattern from last semester, the workload can’t be reduced.
The University of Delhi currently employs 4,500 ad-hoc assistant professors whose contracts are renewed every four months. Teachers have on multiple occasions called out the exploitative working conditions in which this kind of recruit makes forces them. Several ad-hoc assistant professors have complained that they have to work with any provision for paid maternity leave, Worker’s Unity reported.
However, this isn’t the first time, the administration of Delhi University has taken such a decision arbitrarily. The ad-hoc professors make up to 40% of the total teaching staff in the university. In 2019, they went on strike that went on for months when a circular mentioning the appointment of ‘guest faculty’ in permanent positions was received by various colleges affiliated to the university. The teachers explained that it was a way to do away with the ad-hoc system and bring in place an even more exploitative and less stable system of recruitment.