Amid hirings for permanent teachers, ad hocs left in lurch
With recruitments for permanent teaching posts underway at Delhi University since the second half of 2022, ad hoc teachers, whose positions were already precarious, have found themselves in an even more uncertain situation.
Ad hoc teachers at DU, many of whom have been teaching for over a decade, have been applying for these positions, in the hope of securing a permanent post. They are appointed for four months at a time, with their terms being extended at the end of those four months. Several of these teachers have recently, however, found themselves displaced from the colleges in which they taught for many years.
On Wednesday, a former ad-hoc professor at Hindu College, Samarveer, allegedly committed suicide with his family alleging he was upset over being removed from the job.
In a statement issued Thursday, Maya John, member of the DU Academic Council, said, “With an ad-hoc Assistant Professor, Mr Samarvir, of Hindu College allegedly committing suicide reportedly after being displaced in the process of interviews being conducted for permanent teaching positions, Delhi University — one of the country’s most reputed public-funded universities — reported a new low and disturbing reality of intense job insecurity.”
On Thursday, at a protest organised by AISA against this displacement, DU professor Abha Dev Habib said, “If appointments (to permanent positions) are being made like this, a good university will be lost. Ad hoc teachers are being displaced in all colleges, almost entirely in some departments. There needs to be an inquiry. Teachers who have taught for 10 years are being displaced based on a 2-minute-long interview.”
Former DUTA president Nandita Narain said, “I would like to tell Samarveer, we are sorry that we have failed you.”
On ad hoc teachers being displaced, Narain added, “Across colleges, Shraddhanand College, DCAC… they are in a bad state. Teachers in charge (of departments, who are on the selection committee) have tried, but could not always save ad hoc teachers, because outside experts are involved. People are now being appointed without considering if they have taught before.”
Teachers who have been displaced so far said priority was being given to the interview in the recruitment process, without considering teaching experience or research so far.
A teacher at Hindu College said, “How is it that somebody who was found suitable for seven years or eight years is not suitable anymore.”
After a question was raised in the Rajya Sabha last year, Subhas Sarkar, Minister of State for Education, had provided the number of ad hoc teachers — 4267 — at 68 Delhi University colleges as of January 31 last year. Of this, the highest number of 137 ad hoc teachers was at Ramjas College, followed by Sri Venkateswara College with 131 ad hoc teachers. There were 62 ad hoc teachers at Hindu College.