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NEW DELHI : Hundreds of teachers went to strike in Delhi University on Wednesday and encircled the vice chancellors office and residence demanding withdrawal of a 28 August circular that they believe has the potential to jeopardize the career of some 4,000 ad-hoc teachers.

The circular had said that the university will appoint permanent faculty and in case of new vacancies will appoint guest faculties. Since ad-hoc faculties are a lifeline of DU and perform all kinds of duties including teaching, research and evaluation etc, ignoring their service means putting their career at risk.

Chanting slogans like “azadi" (freedom) from arbitrary rules of the university, the DU teachers said they will protest and not join work till the vice chancellor withdraws the circular. They claimed that after the circular was issued colleges under DU stopped renewing contract of ad-hoc teachers and some even stopped salary for the month of November.

The strike has the potential to impact year-end semester exam of tens of thousands of students. The semester exam is due in next few days. Teachers have told their supporters and staff associations to ensure examination “evaluation boycott".

“The DUTA has written numerous letters to the University Grants Commission and Ministry of HRD from time to time on several issues related to ad-hoc teachers including the uncertainties they have recently faced during controversy over teaching roster or implementation of EWS quota. In fact, the DUTA has been raising the demand for a one-time Regulation for Absorption of all temporary and ad-hoc teachers. It hence perplexes us to see that without any cause, you have unilaterally issued the 28 August 2019 letter which has the potential to destabilize and severely compromise the quality of teaching-learning across colleges and departments," the DU teachers association wrote to the vice chancellor.

Rajya Sabha member and Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Manoj Kumar Jha raised the issue in the upper house of the Parliament and urged the government to look into the matter.

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