After rollback, Delhi University and UGC in spat over ad-hoc teacher postings

Express news service Posted online: Thursday, Jul 17, 2014 at 0000 hrs
New Delhi : After cracking down on Delhi University for the implementation of the four-year undergraduate programme, the UGC has pulled up the university again, this time demanding an explanation on the appointment of teachers.

In a letter, the UGC Director (Administration) has asked the university to provide the number of teachers appointed on an ad-hoc, contract and guest basis. The letter further said, “Whether teachers appointed on ad-hoc basis/contract basis/Guest faculty are fulfilling the qualification as prescribed in the UGC Regulation, 2010... Whether selection procedure has been adopted for selection of the ad-hoc teacher/contract basis/Guest faculty as prescribed in the UGC Regulations of UGC.”

The UGC has also convened a meeting of registrars and finance officers of all Central universities on Thursday to take stock of the situation.

UGC Director (Administration) Vikram Sahay said, “The letter was issued to DU to assess the utilisation of funds and to check if all sanctioned teaching positions have been filled. There was an issue regarding ad-hoc teachers with reports of several teaching posts lying vacant.”

According to UGC regulations, the number of teachers appointed on an ad-hoc basis should not exceed 10 per cent of the total number of faculty positions in a college or university. “The qualifications and selection procedure for appointing them should be the same as those applicable to a regular teacher.

DU teachers said the process for appointing teachers on a contract basis differs from that of permanent teachers.

“For ad-hoc appointments, each department draws up a list of candidates. An interview by the college principal, the teacher-in-charge of the department concerned and a senior teacher is held to select a candidate. This does not happen through a regular selection committee. A set of regulations for appointing ad-hoc teachers were approved by the Executive Council in 2007. The issue of having the same selection procedure for ad-hoc and permanent teachers will have to be taken up with the UGC,” Delhi University Teachers’ Association president Nandita Narain said.

A section of teachers said the UGC letter was an attack on DU’s autonomy. Rajesh Jha, who teaches Political Science at Rajdhani College and a member of Academics for Action and Development, said, “The Executive Council’s resolution is sacrosanct to the university’s autonomy. The session is to begin on July 21. The appointment of thousands of ad-hoc teachers are at stake.” At present, there are over 4,500 teachers appointed on an ad-hoc basis in DU.