DU teachers announce fresh strike schedule

The association of DU teachers announced a fresh schedule of strikes next week to protest the semester system and Prof Deepak Pental`s "illegal occupation" of VC`s office.

New Delhi: The association of Delhi University
teachers on Friday announced a fresh schedule of strikes next week
to protest the semester system and Prof Deepak Pental`s
"illegal occupation" of VC`s office, as the university issued
a stern warning asking them not to harm students` interests by
keeping off classes.

The DU this week announced that it was postponing the
first semester exam by a almost a fortnight as the syllabi had
not been covered due to loss of academic days.

But, the Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA)
today said it would observe another round of strikes in the
coming weeks.

At a General Body meeting DUTA said it would continue its
protest against the Vice Chancellor and the "academically
disastrous" semesterisation of 13 undergraduate courses.

An agitated University administration reacted by sending
circulars to all principals of colleges, asking them to
impress upon the teachers not to strike work.

"Teaching has already suffered in the current academic
session due to frequent strikes/demonstrations, and the
University had to modify the academic calendar to make up for
the loss of teaching," the Registrar said in a circular issued
to all principals.

The communique reminded the principals that the
administration`s earlier instructions of imposing a `no work
no pay` rule are to be enforced strictly.

DUTA, meanwhile, expressed regret over HRD Minister Kapil
Sibal`s "indifference" to the situation in the University, and
said it was tantamount to the Minister offering tacit support
to the illegal continuation of Pental in the VC`s chair.

Pental`s tenure as the VC ended on August 31 but the
agitating teachers have alleged that his continuation in
office without authorisation from the Visitor - the President
of India - is a violation of University statutes.

"We will observe a general strike from Monday next week,
hold dharnas in colleges on October 25 and 26, and on October
28, we will organise a march to the HRD Ministry office," said
DUTA President Aditya Narayan Mishra.

The DUTA also issued a call to all teachers, asking them
not to sign any attendance register or any undertaking.

The semester system was approved by Pental in 13
undergraduate science courses in April amid stiff opposition
from the teachers` representatives in the Executive Council,
who accused him of not consulting them on the issue.

With a number of academic days lost, the Delhi University
Students Union had demanded that the semester exams be
postponed in students` interest. The semester exams have now
been scheduled between December 6 and December 14.