DU teachers boycott evaluation over increased workload

New Delhi: Delhi University teachers on Tuesday boycotted the evaluation process for undergraduate examinations in protest against the new UGC gazette notification that has altered workload requirements for faculty members.

"All twelve evaluation centres were closed today and the teachers stayed away from evaluation of scripts of undergraduate examinations, in protest against the recent draconian UGC Gazette notification that will lead to loss of jobs for about 5000 ad-hocs, temporary and guest teachers of DU," a statement issued by the Delhi University Teachers' Association (DUTA) said.

The gazette notification has increased the workload for assistant professors from 16 hours of "direct teaching" per week (including tutorials) to 18 hours, plus another six of tutorials, bringing the total up to 24 hours. Similarly the work hours of associate professors have been increased from 14 to 22, it said.

Teachers argued that the changes are likely to impact quality of teaching, global rankings, lead to massive retrenchment and give a skewed student-teacher ratio and over 50 per cent increase in workload for existing permanent teachers will mean "a proportionate amount of retrenchment of ad hocs and temporary staff."

"The said amendment was secretly notified under the guise of addressing teachers' grievances against the infamous API system that had led to large scale denial of promotions, besides devaluing research and teaching," the statement said.

If the government doesn't roll back the amendment to UGC 2010 Regulations, teachers may even boycott the admission process.

"We demand that the the government withdraws the gazette notification immediately and initiates a dialogue with
teachers associations on the issue.

"After a four-day evaluation boycott, during which staff associations will convene meetings and pass resolutions on
this issue, a general body meeting of the DUTA will be held on May 28, to review the situation and decide action programme for further intensification," it added.

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