Another strike in DU; VC says academic loss matter of concern

The Vice Chancellor voiced concern over the loss of academic days while appealing to staff members to return to classes and shun the "confrontationist" approach.

New Delhi: As the teachers association of
Delhi University began another round of strike, the Vice
Chancellor today voiced concern over the loss of academic days
while appealing to staff members to return to classes and shun
the "confrontationist" approach.

With a number of days already lost due to a series of
strikes and agitations, the University administration had to
recently postpone the semester examination by over 15 days.

But, Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA)
refused to budge from its stand against the newly introduced
semester system in 13 science undergraduate courses and
announced another five-day strike starting today.

At a press conference today, Prof Deepak Pental said
as many as 17 working days had already been lost in this
academic session due to which exams have already been shifted,
but now a further loss would spell trouble for the students.

"The syllabi are already behind schedule. The loss
already occurred could be compensated by extending the working
days, which the University has done, but if regular classes
are not held now the syllabus would suffer," he said, as most
colleges remained deserted today due to the strike.

He appealed to the striking teachers to keep in mind
the future of students and return to work.

In a bid to force teachers to refrain from striking,
the University had also issued a `no work no pay` notice,
asking principals to make sure teachers sign the attendance
registers and that their salaries are deducted if they do not
report for classes.

However, DUTA has called on teachers not to sign any
attendance registers, while labelling the tactics as illegal
and coercive.

They have also labelled the semester system
illegal as according to them it was imposed without the
sanction of the Executive Council and the Academic Council.

Before the colleges closed down for the Commonwealth
Games period, frequent strikes had prevented regular teaching.
As colleges reopened post-Games, things have not changed.

In fact, 11 of the 30 colleges where semesters are
supposed to be held, are still not teaching in the semester
mode.

This has left students in a state of utter confusion,
with some of them not yet sure whether to expect a semester or
annual exams.

Pental said the varsity would also send a copy of its
`no work no par` notice to the UGC, which is the authority
that sanctions funds to the University.

"It is not the University`s money which we get as
salary, it is after all public money," he said, adding, there
should be accountability for teachers` work.

If the semester system is "illegal" as the DUTA
claimed, he asked, "why don`t they challenge it in court".

The DUTA, however, remained unfazed and responded by
saying that they do not recognise Deepak Pental as the Vice
Chancellor.

PTI

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