DUTA Protests Tripartite MOU and Illegal Actions of Dyal Singh College Governing Body Chairman, outside DU EC Meeting
New Delhi (N4C Desk)-The DUTA carried out a major protest today, as a crucial meeting of the DU Executive Council began. Students and teachers collectively expressed their anger against the Tripartite MoU that the MHRD is forcing Delhi University to sign, in order to continue receiving funds from the UGC. This MOU undermines the autonomous Grant-based funding decisions of the UGC and simultaneously appropriates the entire funding function under the executive authority of the Government. Through the MoU, the MHRD allows itself the scope to bypass the UGC and set quantified performance targets for DU (as well as other central universities). These targets, set down in tabular form as Annexure to the MoU, are all oriented towards commercialisation. They compel the funds-receiving university to evaluate its own performance in terms of the direct market value of its courses, the percentage employability of its graduates, extra-mural funding for research through corporate sources, internal revenue generation by raising student-fees and through alumni donations, and infrastructural loans through HEFA.
Significantly, the MoU does not set any evaluation targets for inclusivity through reservation, equal opportunities for women and special facilities/ learning-aids and infrastructure for the differently-abled students and faculty. This evasion of socially-valuable parameters points towards a corporatist, exclusivist and socially-retrogressive vision for higher education.
The collective opposition of students and teachers to such an MoU is especially relevant at a time when universities are increasingly being starved of funds, research seats are drastically reduced and academically-accomplished faculty are left to languish without permanent appointments or promotions. While the Government had promised to issue an Ordinance restoring the 200-point Roster for Reservations with the College/University as Unit and restart permanent appointments, it has not kept its word.
In DU, approximately 2000 teachers have not been given their due promotions for over a decade. Retired teachers are being denied pensions. Students are enrolled into fancy self-financed professional courses but not given the minimum infrastructure that would guarantee a competent level of professional training. The ongoing student-unrest at the Delhi School of Journalism attests to this callous and indifferent attitude of the Government towards the learning-needs of students. Further commercialisation is only going to aggravate this situation.
The DUTA also protested the impunity with which the Dyal Singh College Governing Body Chairman, Amitabh Sinha, has chosen to violate the University Ordinances, usurp the powers of the Dyal Singh College principal, send him on forced leave without seeking the approval of the Vice-Chancellor and make an unauthorized appointment by ordering the principal of the Evening College to officiate in the absence of the principal. The DUTA has asked the University to categorically set-aside all these decisions. The DUTA demands the removal of Amitabh Sinha from the Chairmanship of the Governing Body, Dyal Singh at the earliest.
The DUTA will launch a series of more militant agitations in the coming days if the Government and the University Administration continues to ignore the long-pending demands of promotions, 7th Pay allowances, pensions and permanent appointments for the teaching community. The DUTA will reach out to students and parents and forge greater solidarities across Central and State Universities to fight against schemes like Tripartite MoU, replacement of grants by loans through HEFA and self-financing courses.