The DUTA protests which probably started on 26th of May this year with a dharna in front of the University Grants Office is still on.Though the protests have seen an immense support from the different students’ wings. There seems a general consensus about how the protests are harming the evaluation and admission processes.
Earlier, teachers’ workload requirements included lectures, practicals, project supervision and tutorials, all of which were treated equally, but tutorials have now been removed, and the definition has been narrowed down to “Lectures/Practicals/Project Supervision”.
As per the UGC (Minimum Qualifications for appointment of teachers and other academic staff in universities and colleges and measures for the maintenance of standards in higher education) Regulations, 2010, the number of teaching hours has been increased. An Assistant Professor who was earlier required to teach 16 hours weekly will now have to work 18+6 hours and Associate Professors and Professors who worked 14 hours – including time spent on tutorials and practicals, will now have to work 16+6 hours and 14+6 hours respectively. They feel that this would overburden the teachers and reduce their time for preparations hence further degrading the quality.
On 2nd of July, the Delhi University vice-chancellor, Yogesh Tyagi, called all college principals to discuss the boycott. This can help you visualise how uncontrollabe this all has become. The meeting was a result of protests by dozens of DUTA members at SGTB Khalsa College where HRD Minister Smriti Irani was attending a centre launch. Though the teachers have agreed to evaluate the answer sheets of third year students, there seems no further update.
‘Late results aren’t going to affect me a lot but it is really sad to see that university is doing nothing to manage the issue in a better way.Final year students are adversely affected as many of them are supposed to join colleges for further education and they aren’t able to complete the formalities‘, said Shivam Malhotra, a second year student at Delhi College of Arts & Commerce.Well, the case seems a little different for first years.They feel that late results are increasing their anxieties and of course,not creating any great hopes for the upcoming years. A student of third year, Urvashi Singhal at Kamala Nehru College told us that she feels late results are affecting first and third years equally as one is entering into the system and the other one is exiting it, so, both need teachers’ guidance at great length. Also, the students feel this is a moral responsibility of teachers that they don’t let students suffer.
Moving on,sources from campuses confirm that it has also created a lot of problem in the admission process as the teachers chose not to turn up.The issue is also creating fears about the teachers returning to colleges to take lectures.Overall,we wholeheartedly support DUTA members and their demands because it is true that the new advances by the central government will reduce the quality of teaching in colleges.But to end on a positive note,we request the concerned authorities and DUTA members to reach a consensus soon as students are the one getting churned amidst all this.