DU teachers, students hold hunger strike against colleges’ autonomy

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New Delhi, May 30 (IANS) Scores of teachers from the Delhi University observed a hunger strike here on Wednesday demanding ad hoc teachers be made permanent ones and protesting the bid for autonomy by the varsity colleges.

The protest, initiated by the Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA), saw many students from the radical left-wing All India Students’ Association also participating along with the teachers.

“Our demands are that ad hoc teachers who are working in the university for several years be absorbed as permanent teachers and also that colleges are not privatised in the name of autonomy,” said DUTA Secretary Vivek Chaudhary.

Several teachers and students have been protesting against the long-standing issue of absorption of ad hoc teachers and lately they have been agitating against the colleges which have applied for ‘autonomy’ with the University Grants Commission – a proposition which a section teachers has translated as a ruse for privatisation and increasing course fees.

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So far, two colleges from the university — St. Stephen’s College and Hindu College — are in talks with the UGC and the Ministry of Human Resource Development to go autonomous.

Giving the call for the ‘mass huger strike’, the association had asked for 10 volunteers from each college to participate in the strike, which they proposed to carry out till 5 p.m.

Chaudhary told IANS that they have to resort to hunger strike because their pleas with the Ministry and the DU went unheard.

The DUTA will decide on the future course of action against the same issues in a general body meeting on June 1.

–IANS

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