Kaleel D. travelled for 10 hours by bus from Rajapur to join a hunger strike held at the Mumbai University campus at Fort on Tuesday.
Kaleel lost his job as a political science lecturer at a college in Rajapur because of a “university miscommunication”. He is among 100 lecturers, who have either lost or may lose their jobs once their contracts expire. “I have travelled 17 times to Mumbai just to get a clarification,” he said.
These teachers, along with members of Bombay University and College Teachers Union (BUCTU), went on a hunger strike to protest against their removal.
The MPhil qualified lecturers are in limbo because they have not been regularised despite a circular sent by the University Grants Commission (UGC). The circular stated that teachers with MPhil degrees appointed between 2006-08 are on par with those who have taken the NET/SET entrance exam for teachers at the university level.
Representatives of BUCTU had declared in the senate meeting 10 days ago that they would go on strike if the issue was not resolved.
“This, despite, a UGC letter to the state clarifying that candidates with MPhil appointed between 2006-08 should be approved as regular teachers,” said Madhu Paranjape from BUCTU.
The university has promised to resolve the issue. “We will look into the teachers’ appointments on a case-to-case basis,” said Chnadra Krishnamurthy, acting vice-chancellor.