Feudal arrogance, megalomania and disdain for the needs of students and teachers characterized the blackest five-year tenure of the outgoing DU VC, Prof. Dinesh Singh. The Delhi University Teachers’ association (DUTA) observed his last day in office today as “Good Riddance Day”, a programme of cultural protest in which hundreds of teachers and students participated with protest songs, street theatre, colourful posters and testimonies of suffering. The event became a sort of jansunwai wherein teachers of Hindu College, Bhagini Nivedita College, College of Vocational Studies, Shraddhanand College, Satyawati College, ARSD College, Aryabhatt College, KM College, retired teachers who have been denied pension, students who have been rusticated, teachers whose services have been terminated etc gave testimonies. This unprecedented ‘send-off’ has been occasioned by the long and relentless movement against the DU VC’s autocracy and misdeeds, fought jointly by teachers and students of DU under the banner of the DUTA, that has been instrumental in creating a climate wherein it became untenable for Prof. Dinesh Singh to continue with extension or seek a second term.
Through the “Good Riddance Day”, the DUTA also wants to draw attention to the shameful decision of the Government to allow Prof. Sudheesh Pachauri (PVC who was allowed to continue beyond his age of superannuation as a part of Prof. Dinesh Singh’s team), to officiate as VC after Prof. Singh’s departure. Prof. Pachauri has been complicit in every academic and administrative crime perpetrated by the Dinesh Singh Administration. The Government was expected to have been sensitive to the anguish of the academic community of DU but has disappointed teachers and students by allowing the Dinesh Singh regime to continue, in absentia, through his loyalists whose claims to any such official position, beyond the age of superannuation, are legally suspect.
Legality was thrown to the winds in Prof. Dinesh Singh tenure which will be remembered as a time when every possible rule was bent or violated to suit the convenience of the VC and his team. Pensions of retiring teachers have been stopped in violation of the Pension Law, an illegal FYUP was run for a whole year, the Reservation Policy and Roster have been subverted in many teachers’ appointments and 172 crores from the OBC-Expansion Grant were diverted without Cabinet Approval to purchase laptops for popularizing the hollow course-content of the FYUP courses. But these are only the tip of the iceberg as the DUTA ‘White Paper’ has listed a long series of violations which would have been adequate grounds for the Government to ask any Vice-Chancellor to step down to facilitate a full-fledged enquiry and removal.
The DUTA will continue to struggle until the injustice perpetrated on the University community in terms of denial of pension, promotions, permanent appointments with proper roster and appointment procedures, dilution of academic standards and crushing of democratic spaces is reversed.
(This is Press Release of Delhi University Teachers’ association (DUTA)