The Aam Aadmi Party’s Teachers Wing, AADTA, has declared a hunger strike starting from 8th June to protest against the displacement of ad-hoc professors in Delhi University (DU). The AAP aims to bring attention to the dire circumstances faced by gold medalists and ad hoc professors who have been dedicatedly serving the university for 15-20 years. AADTA National Incharge Dr Aditya Narayan Mishra expressed deep concern over the livelihood crisis experienced by these esteemed educators due to the actions of the DU administration. Dr Mishra emphasised that the Vice-Chancellor’s failure to prioritise humanity or education has forced them to take a strong stand.
Highlighting the irregularities in the appointment process, AAP MLA Shri Sanjeev Jha pointed out that the former Education Minister Shri Manish Sisodia had written a letter to the Vice-Chancellor, explicitly instructing against making any appointments until the formation of the Governing Body. However, appointments have been made arbitrarily, disregarding the minister’s directive. He criticised the Vice-Chancellor for deliberately obstructing the formation of a fully functional governing body, which has resulted in the displacement of a significant number of ad-hoc teachers.
The AAP further demands the immediate formation of fully functional governing bodies in Delhi University and urges the DU administration to halt the process of displacing ad-hoc teachers and to promptly absorb those who have already been displaced. This action would provide the necessary stability and security to the affected teachers who have dedicated their lives to imparting knowledge and shaping the futures of countless students.
In a press conference held today, MLA Shri Sanjeev Jha and AADTA’s Dr Aditya Narayan Mishra shed light on several pressing issues in the functioning of DU colleges due to the Vice Chancellor’s actions. They highlighted the absence of a governing body for almost one and a half years in Delhi government-funded colleges. The AAP leaders emphasised the urgent need to address the ongoing concerns and raised questions about the functioning of Delhi University colleges. They stressed that no appointments or decisions should be made without the involvement of the governing body and its chairman. The leaders highlighted the Vice Chancellor’s resistance to forming a governing body, resulting in the mass displacement of ad hoc teachers. They expressed deep concern for the welfare of faculty members, citing the tragic suicide of an ad-hoc assistant professor as an institutional murder caused by the Vice Chancellor’s disregard for their well-being. Senior professors from DU and members of the university’s Executive Council (EC) also participated in the press conference, lending their support to the cause.
Shri Sanjeev Jha said that the formation of the Governing Body is essential for the governance of each college in Delhi University. “For the first time in history, Delhi government-funded colleges have been operating without a governing body for almost one and a half years. The Vice-Chancellor has been making appointments in the University of Delhi arbitrarily, which goes against the statute, despite continuous letters from the Education Minister of Delhi,” he said.
Highlighting the impact of the Vice Chancellor’s actions on the university’s functioning and reputation, Shri Sanjeev Jha further explained the role of the governing body in Delhi University colleges. The governing body, formed through the nomination of five individuals by the Delhi government and subsequent approval from the EC, is responsible for the governance and operation of the colleges. Shri Jha expressed his concern, stating, “No appointments or decisions should be made without the involvement of the Governing Body and its Chairman. This blatant disregard for the law and due process is unprecedented and raises serious questions.”
Shri Sanjeev Jha highlighted the relentless efforts made by former Education Minister of the Delhi Government, Shri Manish Sisodia, to address the issue by continuously writing to the Vice-Chancellor, advising him to form the governing body to ensure the proper functioning of the colleges. Shri Manish Sisodia had directed that appointments should not be made without a fully constituted governing body, as stipulated by the statute. He also stressed the importance of avoiding mass displacement of faculty members even after the formation of the governing body and priority should be given to appointing current professors and ad hoc teachers before making new appointments to fill the remaining positions.
Expressing his concern about the mass displacement of ad hoc teachers, Shri Sanjeev Jha emphasised the Vice Chancellor’s disregard for transparency and fairness in the appointment process. He stated, “Shri Manish Sisodia made it clear that a full governing body should be formed before any new appointments are made. However, the Vice Chancellor has been making appointments arbitrarily, ignoring the Education Minister’s concerns. As a result, approximately 75 to 80% of ad hoc teachers in DU have been displaced. This mass displacement reveals the Vice Chancellor’s resistance to forming a governing body. If a governing body with a chairman had been in place, this mass displacement would not have occurred.”
Drawing attention to a recent tragic incident where an ad-hoc Assistant Professor from DU, Shri Samarveer Singh, took his own life after his tenure at a DU college was not extended, Shri Sanjeev Jha remarked, “We must not label his death as a suicide, but rather as an institutional murder, highlighting the consequences of the Vice Chancellor’s disregard for the welfare of the teaching faculty.” He called for immediate action to prevent further harm to faculty members and stressed that Samarveer Singh’s harassment was not an isolated case.
Shri Sanjeev Jha presented a comprehensive list of cases involving professors, including highly qualified individuals with notable achievements such as university gold medalists and experience teaching at NASA, who have been displaced from their positions despite dedicating 20–25 years of their lives to teaching at Delhi University. He stated, “These professors are now living in a state of despair, resembling mere shells of their former selves. It is a distressing situation where we cannot predict when another individual might be driven to take a similar step due to these circumstances. I want to ask the DU Vice-Chancellor how many more such tragedies he intends to witness before taking necessary action.”
Addressing the DU Vice-Chancellor, Shri Sanjeev Jha asserted the need for immediate action to rectify the alarming situation, stating, “We demand the immediate formation of a full-fledged governing body, as appointments without its involvement violate the Delhi University regulations.” He urged the Vice Chancellor to halt the displacement of professors, cautioning that failure to do so could lead to drastic measures, similar to tragic incidents where professors resorted to self-harm. He also called upon the Vice Chancellor to promptly reinstate and re-accommodate the professors who have been displaced, as they possess invaluable knowledge and experience of Delhi University’s functioning and curriculum. He concluded by saying, “Given Delhi University’s esteemed reputation and standards, it is imperative that the Vice Chancellor prioritises the immediate reassignment of displaced professors to uphold the university’s standing. AAP urges the Vice Chancellor to reconsider his approach and prioritise the welfare and stability of the teaching community.”
Showing firm support, Shri Aditya Narayan Mishra expressed his concerns over the distressing situation faced by ad-hoc teachers at Delhi University (DU). He highlighted the plight of these teachers, emphasising the detrimental impact caused by the discontinuation of ongoing interviews to make them permanent by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government soon after assuming power. He stated, “The situation in DU is very dire. These teachers are now faced with the challenge of finding alternative means of livelihood, paying rent, and meeting their children’s educational expenses. Many of these teachers hail from disadvantaged backgrounds and struggled to obtain an education. Teaching at DU was their path to stability, and they dedicated decades of service to making DU what it is reputed for. Today, they find themselves rendered homeless. The emotional and financial toll is immense, with many facing foreclosure on their homes.”
Expressing disappointment with the lack of response from DU authorities, despite efforts made by Shri Manish Sisodia, Shri Aditya Narayan Mishra highlighted the obstruction faced in establishing a governing body. “Repeated requests were made for the formation of a governing body, but it was obstructed as it would have demanded the absorption of DU ad-hoc teachers into permanent positions,” he added. “It is disheartening to witness the implementation of externally sent lists of candidates, disregarding the dedicated service of teachers who have spent decades at DU.”
Shri Aditya Narayan Mishra expressed his grief over the recent death by suicide of an ad-hoc DU Assistant Professor, adding, “We do not encourage suicide, but the present state of these teachers can only be described as institutional murder. They have been reduced to living corpses. Our struggle for justice and recognition continues. The Aam Aadmi Party Teachers’ Wing stands firmly against the callous treatment of ad-hoc teachers and demands that the Vice Chancellor and DU administration prioritise humanity and acknowledge the invaluable contributions of these teachers.”
In response to the dire situation, Shri Aditya Narayan Mishra announced the AAP Teachers’ Wing’s decision to stage a hunger strike on June 8 within the premises of Delhi University. The hunger strike aims to raise awareness about the plight of ad-hoc teachers due to institutional neglect and seek immediate justice for the affected teachers. The AAP Teachers’ Wing intends to intensify their battle for justice, with DU Executive Council (EC) members Dr. Seema Das and Shri Rajpal Singh Pawar also planning to raise the pressing issue in the upcoming council meeting. This action follows previous protests and a condolence meeting held by the AAP Teachers’ Wing after the tragic suicide of an ad-hoc DU teacher. The AAP Teachers’ Wing remains committed to advocating for the rights and welfare of ad-hoc teachers and urges the Vice Chancellor and DU administration to address their grievances without further delay.