As DUTA Strike Ends, Students Demand Declaration of Semester Results

A student at Deen Dayal Upadhyay college, Delhi University (DU), has to apply for a course in RMIT University, Melbourne but he won’t able to do so because the results for the fifth semester have not been declared as yet.

The delay in the result is because of Delhi University Teachers’ Association’s (DUTA) indefinite strike, which was called off a couple of weeks back.

In December last year, DUTA had called for the strike in response to a university circular dated August 28 which demoted the status of teachers from ad-hoc to guest faculty. A guest faculty, teachers say, earns much less than an ad-hoc professor. Plus, there are several ad-hoc teachers who have taught in their respective departments for more than a decade and don’t wish to be demoted at this stage.

Hence, DUTA went on an indefinite strike, called for an evaluation boycott and subsequently gheraoed the vice chancellor’s office to press their demands. However, on students’ demand, teachers called it off on February 26, 2020.

It’s now been two months and students are still waiting for their fifth semester results and worry that they won’t be able to apply for courses abroad if the results are further delayed. Generally, the results are declared by the end of January.

“I have applied at the RMIT University, Melbourne, and for that I need to submit my fifth semester result so that they evaluate my profile. Banks also ask for semester results before sanctioning the education loan. Since the results are not out yet, I might have to drop this year, which won’t look good on my CV,” said Mukul Upadhyay, a final-year life student at Deen Dayal Upadhyay College.

Also read: ‘Was Relieved It Wasn’t Urine, Acid or Semen’: DU Students on Harassment During Holi

There are many other students in his department, who may have to re-apply next year if the results are not declared within a couple of weeks. They spoke to the principal of their college but it went in vain. “When we went to speak to the principal, he said that he has nothing in his hands,” said a student.

The DUTA members, on the other hand, say that they understand students’ concerns and how the delay might affect their studies. At the same time, they say that this is larger issue and cannot be sidelined at any cost.

“Teachers are desperate due to a complete shutdown of routine processes like permanent appointments, promotions and pensions. Female ad-hoc teachers are not being given a single day’s maternity leave. The university and government are irresponsibly putting their lives at risk,” said Saikat Ghosh, a DUTA member. “We  feel really bad for the students. But sometimes things can’t be helped by one side alone.”

Abha Dev Habib, who teaches Physics at Miranda House and a DUTA member, also says that they don’t wish to affect the career prospects of students in any way and had to go on strike as a “last resort”.

“Students’ interest has always remained central to DUTA’s agitations. Students as equal partners in our movements. We had to take harsh decision of evaluation boycott and indefinite strike only as a last resort…The general body, on February 26, decided to lift the evaluation boycott. Teachers have also compensated for any loss of teaching and remain committed to compensate,” she said.

According to the teachers, the final results of all the courses will be declared by next month and might be released along with the sixth semester results.

The final year students, especially those who are applying for international universities, say that the university must check papers of final-year students on priority basis, and release the results at the earliest.

Featured image credit: PTI