The Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) elections saw a huge voter turnout on Thursday as 73% teachers cast their votes despite classes. The large number of votes, according to experts, indicates dissatisfaction with the DU administration.
Most groups have spoken out against the alleged high-handed manner of the university in the past one year. Many have also participated in a pitched battle between teachers and university authorities over the implementation of the four year undergraduate programme.
Counting of votes was still on at the time of going to press. There are 26 people in fray for 16 posts.
“The university did not calling off classes this time, though that was always done in the past,” said Sachin N, a DU teacher.
DU had issued a notification last week saying classes will be called off, but the notification was later withdrawn. This, however, did not stop teachers from voting and the turnout saw an increase of 10 percentage points.
Teachers from all groups criticised the university’s decision to hold classes. “The college authorities decided to hold an impromptu meeting on Thursday just to keep teachers from voting. But many teachers from my college came out to vote,” said an ad hoc teacher from a south Delhi college.
Vice Chancellor, Dinesh Singh, has in the past called DUTA an illegal body.
“The huge turnout shows that teachers are not satisfied with the authorities. It is sad that some administration members tried to interfere in the elections. The sudden interest is ironic as the V-C had earlier said DUTA was an illegal body,” said Janemoy Khuntiya, chairperson, Academics for Action and Development.