The Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) elections have thrown up a fractured verdict with teachers having opposite ideologies getting elected to the executive council.
While four members, including the president of the DUTA executive, belong to a group that has opposed the four-year undergraduate programme, eight others are from associations that have pushed for it.
DU teachers elected Nandita Narain as president. She’s from the left-leaning Democratic Teachers Front (DTF) that has led the battle against the programme. Narain has been vocal in opposing the DU administration’s policies and alleged high-handedness. Last year’s president, Amar Deo Sharma, was also from the DTF.
The DUTA executive, which has 15 members, has eight members from the Academics for Action and Development (AAD) and INTECH groups, which had supported the programme and are said to have gained favour with the vice-chancellor.
All four members of the DTF who stood for the elections were elected to the executive.
The verdict is worrisome as the two groups have had opposing policies.
“It is certainly a concern as our stand on university issues is completely different from theirs and they do have a majority in the executive. It has been seen in the past that voting for DUTA executive candidates depends heavily on personal equation rather than issues. The presidential election is known to be about the issues facing the teaching community. In that sense, the teachers have clearly expressed their anger against the administration and their arm-twisting tactics,” said Narain.
According to Narain, the first issue that the DUTA will take up is permanent appointments in various colleges.
“Appointments are our first priority and we have to ensure that it happens keeping in mind the UGC guidelines for reservations. Also, we want DU to scrap the screening method for appointments. The university’s executive council should take up the matter again. The rollback of the FYUP and semester system is also an issue we will pursue,” she said.
The candidates from AAD and Intech also said that their first priority would be appointments of teachers.