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DU Ill-Prepared to Implement 10% EWS Quota for Teachers, Expense Shouldn’t be Shifted to Students: DUTA to HRD Ministry

Ahead of the University’s reopening for the new academic session, the teachers have sought government intervention in mitigating the impact the quota implementation is likely to have on ad hoc teachers and quality expansion of the teaching staff.

Eram Agha | News18.comEramAgha

Updated:July 11, 2019, 7:20 PM IST
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File photo of Delhi University campus (Image: du.ac.in)

New Delhi: The Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) has written to the HRD ministry on the “ill-preparedness” of the Delhi University to implement 10% quota for economically weaker upper castes among teaching cadre, saying the expense of the increased intake shouldn’t be shifted to the students.

“As of today, Delhi University and its colleges find themselves ill-prepared to implement the EWS expansion,” the letter, signed by DUTA president Rajib Ray and secretary Vivek Chaudhury, and addressed to HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, said.

Ahead of the University’s reopening for the new academic session, the teachers have sought government intervention in mitigating the impact the quota implementation is likely to have on ad hoc teachers and quality expansion of the teaching staff. The DUTA has requested the “renewal of appointment of ad-hoc teachers to mitigate their hardship because of implementation of EWS Reservation in teaching cadre.”

Funds for Quality EWS Expansion

The government had allocated Rs 143.76 crore to the Delhi University to expand the teaching cadre in line with the quota implementation. It gave additional Rs 47.24 crore for constituent/affiliated colleges to increase the strength of their teaching and non-teaching staff.

In addition, the government had stipulated that the money allocated to the University and colleges’ infrastructural needs have to be sought from Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA), a non-banking financing company set up as a joint venture between the HRD ministry and Canara Bank.

DUTA has welcomed the process of allocating funds towards the implementation of EWS quota, but said it falls short of the requirements as given by the University and its colleges.

The association has also requested the government to review HEFA, saying it appears to shift the burden of financing education on the students.

“The expense of expansion/increased student intake should not fall on the shoulders of students. As a public funded Central University, DU caters to a very heterogeneous group of students. Over 60% of students come from socio-economically weaker backgrounds and pushing the burden of expansion on shoulders of parents and students is not justified and can be only viewed as commercialization of public funded higher education,” said the letter, demanding 100% grant-based funding towards maintenance and expansion.

Incomplete Expansions

The DUTA letter went on to highlight that “despite several reminders to the UGC and the MHRD, the OBC Expansion (implemented in 2007) has remained incomplete.”

Most DU Colleges have not received final sanction for the second tranche of the promised teaching posts, according to DUTA, and neither have colleges received any additional posts as required for the proper implementation of the Choice Based Credit System (implemented in 2015).

“Short of these promised posts, the posts released under EWS Expansion alone will not help us attain an appropriate student teacher ratio necessary for quality education,” said Ray.

Challenges for Ad Hoc Teachers

Over 4,500 teachers in Delhi University are working on ad hoc basis. These teachers have been denied a shot at permanent posts as interviews have been few and far between in the last 10 years.

“As the EWS Reservation is going to decrease teaching posts towards unreserved candidates (especially as the University and colleges have not been sanctioned additional teaching posts as of now), the displaced teachers will face hardships and certainty despite their best contribution,” said the letter.

It added that in order to make EWS expansion quality-based, quota in teaching posts should “be implemented only with the release of additional posts to colleges and the University” and that all “ad-hoc teachers who were in service as on the last day of the previous term/semester, may be given joining on the first day of this term.”

The HRD ministry had ensured joining of all serving ad-hoc teachers on the first working day as the University reopened in July 2014 after the rollback of the four-year undergraduate programme. The UGC had instructed the University and its colleges to give joining on the first day to all serving ad-hoc teachers in the wake of policy changes which were bound to deny many teachers their jobs, as per DUTA.

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