Stop Illegal Ad-hocism at University of Delhi

There are almost 5000+ adhoc teachers working in the University of Delhi. In a few cases they have been working for more than 15 years, whereas there are some who have been teaching for more than 7-8 years. This is an open and blatant violation of:
A.  UGC Regulations on Minimum Qualifications for Permanent Appointment of Teachers and Other Academic Staff in Universities and Colleges and Measures for the Maintenance of Standards in Higher Education 2010;
 B. University of Delhi’s Guidelines on the Issue of Making Ad-hoc Appointments of Lecturers in Colleges/Departments Duly Approved by the Executive Council at its Meeting Held on 27.12.2007 Vide Resolution No. 120 (8)

Let us have a look at some of the relevant parts of the above-mentioned Guidelines and their blatant violation in the University of Delhi:

Violation 1.    About the Circumstances Under which Ad-hoc Appointments are Done
Rule:“i. The circumstances under which ad hoc appointments are needed.
I) in case there is a sudden, unexpected and short vacancy, arising out of a sudden sickness or death, on medical grounds (including maternity leave), abrupt leave or any other situation that may disrupt the normal process of Teaching-learning, an ad hoc appointment may be made.” (Guidelines, University of Delhi)
Practice at University of Delhi
The above Guidelines of the University make it very clear that ad-hoc appointments should be made only under specific circumstances but it is a known fact that 5000-6000 teachers are working as ad-hoc faculty in various departments and colleges of the university. The Departments and Colleges of the University recruit ad-hoc faculties on a regular basis even for sanctioned posts. Instead of filling posts on regular basis, constituent colleges of the University make ad-hoc appointments and keep on making such arrangements as this system suits authorities and gives them all kind of feudal powers to exploit ad-hoc teachers.

Violation 2.    Period of Ad-hoc Appointments
Rule: Iv) the ad hoc appointment shall only be made for a period of more than one month and up to four months (i.e. 120 days) in accordance with the provisions contained in clause 3(1) of ordinance xii.
V) Whenever the vacancy arises for the duration of more than four months, the same may be filled up on temporary basis as per due process and procedure i.e. through a duly constituted selection committee.” (Guidelines, University of Delhi)
Practice at University of Delhi: The fact that some teachers have been teaching on ad-hoc basis at one College for years together (there are many instances of 5-10 years of teaching in one College) in itself is a testimony to the violation of university’s own guidelines and regular adhocism in the university. Although the Guidelines make it very clear that if a vacancy is for more than four months, it should be filled on temporary basis instead of ad-hoc basis but colleges keep on making routine ad-hoc/guest appointments, causing much loss to the teachers. It should be pointed out here that under Temporary Appointment, teachers are entitled to certain kinds of benefits, like leave, medical facilities and other benefits. Moreover, a teacher is relaxed for one year or two years as per the period of temporary appointment.

Violation 3.    Percentage of Ad-hoc Appointments with Respect to Permanent Faculty
Rule: “13.1. The teachers should be appointed on contract basis only when it is absolutely necessary and when the student-teacher ratio does not satisfy the laid down norms. In any case, the number of such appointments should not exceed 10% of the total number of faculty positions in a college/university.” (UGC Regulations 2010)
Practice at University of Delhi
According to the data taken from the web-site of Bhaskaracharya College of Applied Sciences, an affiliated college of the University of Delhi, in the period from 2nd January 2014 to 22nd May 2014, the number of regular faculty in the College was 44 whereas the number of ad-hoc faculty was 31. (Interestingly out of the around 70 odd Colleges of the University, the only college to have displayed such information on the college website). Almost 40 to 50 per cent of the faculty of the university’s colleges is working on ad-hoc or guest basis which is a clear-cut violation of the 10 % cap for such appointments.

Violation 4.    Selection Criteria
Rule: “13.1 The qualifications and selection procedure for appointing them should be the same as those applicable to a regularly appointed teacher.” (UGC Regulations 2010)

6.0.1 The overall selection procedure shall incorporate transparent, objective and credible methodology of analysis of the merits and credentials of the applicants based on weightages given to the performance of the candidate in different relevant dimensions and his/her performance on a scoring system proforma, based on the Academic Performance Indicators (API) as provided in this Regulations in Tables I to IX of Appendix III.” (UGC Regulations 2010)

Practice at University of Delhi
It is very unfortunate that appointments for a first class job are made in a very casual, biased and non-transparent and dubious manner which gives a lot of scope for corruption in the University. No one knows about the criteria of selection for ad-hoc appointments except for that the appointments are made from the candidates enlisted in the Ad-hoc panel of a particular department. The UGC Guidelines are issued for screening and evaluation of academic and other credentials of candidates but no such practice is followed in the ad-hoc interviews. The interviews are conducted in a very casual and farcical way.
As per the “Guidelines for screening/shortlisting of candidates for appointment to the post of assistant professor in the university and its colleges” according to the provisions of Ordinances XI, & XII & XXIV of the University, all posts of teachers shall be filled after advertisement and by open recruitment.

According to the data taken from the University’s website, the advertisement for walk-in interviews in various departments was displayed one day before or even on the same day of interviews:

College                                                                  Date of Advertisement                    Date of Interview
Bhaskaracharya College of Applied Sc.                     19 July 2014                                          20 July 2014
Janaki Devi memorial College                                    21 August 2014                                     22 August 2014
KeshavMahavidyalaya                                                19 August 2014                                     19 August 2014
Shivaji College                                                               20 August 2014                                    22 August 2014
Note: The names of the Colleges are just taken randomly to showcase the casual selection process.

Even when the same people have to be reappointed, Colleges conduct open interviews. The pre-fixed interviews are conducted and many unemployed competent candidates are befooled. Many innocent candidates come all the way from various places of the City and the neighbouring states to attend the sham interviews.

Since appropriate guidelines are not followed in filling such posts, unfair and biased selections are taking place unabatedly.

The Effects of Such Violations on the Teachers Appointed on Ad-hoc Basis

As ad-hoc and guest faculty appointments have given rise to all kinds of corruption in the University which includes nepotism and exploitation of such faculty, especially the women. Merit has taken a back-seat and some Heads of the Departments and Principals of Colleges of the University have started using the institutes as their private property and ad-hoc employees as their private assets, which is very unfortunate for a public-funded Central University of repute. Moreover, such violations are openly taking place and the prospective eligible faculty members are at the receiving end.
A.    Mental Harassment and Job Insecurity
The affected teachers who have been teaching on ad-hoc basis are always at the risk of losing their job at any time without any prior notice. The harassment can be well understood from the point that some have been facing this situation for 5 to 10 years, in cases even more than that too (18 to 20 years).
A.    Loss of Service Benefits
The teachers who have been teaching in the University on ad-hoc basis for a long time are deprived of some benefits which they would have got if they would have been appointed on regular basis against sanctioned posts instead of ad-hoc appointments.

1.    The Assistant Professors with a Ph.D./M.Phil degree at the entry level are given five/two non-compounded advance increments but a person appointed on ad-hoc basis does not get such increment.
2.    Ad-hoc teachers cannot update their knowledge through Orientation and Refresher Courses and other training programmes and do not get leave to attend such skill-development programmes which are very essential for the growth of teachers. Study Leave, Research Promotion Grant and many other grants, Assistance for attending Seminars and Conferences and allotment of Research Projects are provided to regular faculty only.
3.    Allowances such as Leave Travel Concession, Special Compensatory Allowances, Children’s Education Allowance, Deputation Allowance, other allowances applicable to regular teachers are denied to ad-hoc teachers.
4.    Assistant Professors are placed in the Pay Band of Rs.15,600 – Rs. 39,100 with AGP of Rs. 6,000. An Assistant Professor with completed service of four years, possessing Ph.D. Degree in the relevant discipline becomes eligible for moving up to AGP of Rs. 7,000 and Assistant Professors possessing M.Phil. Degree or post-graduate degree in professional courses approved by the relevant Statutory Body, such as LL.M./M.Tech., etc. become eligible for the AGP of Rs. 7,000 after completion of five years’ service as Assistant Professor. Assistant Professors with completed service of five years at the AGP of Rs. 7,000 become eligible to move up to the AGP of Rs.8,000 but an ad-hoc Assistant Professor with a Ph.D at the entry level gets the same AGP of Rs. 6000/- even after 10-15 years of service. The ad-hoc teachers who worked in this capacity for 8-10 years, would have got much higher scale if they would have been in regular appointment.
5.    Facilities of many types of leave and carry forward of leaves are  admissible to permanent teachers: (i) Leave treated as duty, viz. Special casual leave, and Duty leave; (ii) Leave earned by duty, viz. Earned leave, Half Pay leave, and Commuted leave; (iii) Leave not earned by duty, viz. Extraordinary leave; and Leave not due; (iv) Leave not debited to leave account – (v) Leave for academic pursuits, viz. Study leave and Sabbatical leave/Academic leave; (vi) Leave on grounds of health, viz. Maternity leave and Quarantine leave; Paternity Leave, Child Care Leave and any other type of leave granted by the Executive Council in exceptional cases. Ad-hoc teachers do not get most of these leaves.

Here we would like to point out certain cases of teachers whose life in general has been adversely affected by adhocism in the University.  Some kept waiting for their permanent appointments and did not marry and at present are neither settled in job nor in marriage. The University system took away their matrimonial prospects. Some women teachers chose not to expand their families till their regular appointment for fear of losing their temporary jobs. Many such teachers have lost the opportunity to take the benefit of maternity leave/paternity leave. Some women teachers had to manage without any benefit of Child Care Leave (CCL) in rearing up their children and by the time they will get a regular job (if it happens at all), their children would no more be minor and such teachers will not be eligible to avail benefit of CCL. If ad-hoc teachers fall ill, they do not get any medical benefit- leave or reimbursement of medical expenses, the only thing they can hope to get is the loss of their ad-hoc job even.
Ad-hoc teachers do not have facilities like that of gratuity, provident fund and group insurance, etc. Some ad-hoc teachers teaching prior to 2004 have already lost their right to the old pension scheme.

Action Demanded:

  1. Special drive to fill up all vacant teaching positions should be run vigorously in all the Departments and Colleges of the University. The selection process for permanent appointments should begin at the earliest.
  2. It must be ensured that ad-hoc appointments do not become a routine feature rather such appointments should be made strictly under specified circumstances for a specified period only according to the Guidelines of the University. A strict compliance of the UGC Regulations and University’s own Guidelines should be ensured by the University.
  3. The selection process for filling up the posts of assistant professors on ad-hoc and permanent basis should be made more transparent. Free and fair selection of teachers should be ensured. It is demanded that appointments for the post of Assistant Professors should be centralised and should not be left in the hands of a few people, a practice which promotes negligence of merit and promotion of nepotism and corruption. The interview should not be the only criteria for selection of candidates. Absolute discriminatory power should not be given to the Heads of Departments and Principals of Colleges to fill such posts.  A Committee should be constituted at the earliest to suggest a transparent selection process for ad-hoc as well as permanent appointments and to improve the working conditions of temporary teachers.
  4. One time relief should be provided to the already affected ad-hoc teachers who have been teaching for a long time in the University as they got adversely affected due to the blatant violation of UGC and University of Delhi’s Regulations. It was none of their fault if the Colleges and Departments of the University chose not to fill-up sanctioned posts. Again it was not their fault that they were engaged on ad-hoc basis where temporary or regular appointments should have taken place for as long as 5 or 7 years.  It is demanded that while filling the sanctioned posts on regular basis, priority should be given to the teachers who have already worked on ad-hoc basis for a long time and the entire service rendered as an ad-hoc teacher should be considered for all purposes.
  5. It is demanded that in case of complete work-load of a complete teacher, only full time teachers should be appointed. It has been found that 2-3 Guest teachers are engaged when one full time teacher could have been employed.

Thanking you

Yours sincerely

Dr.Prerna Malhotra

Annexure :
1.    Copy of UGC Regulations on Minimum Qualifications for Permanent Appointment of Teachers and Other Academic Staff in Universities and Colleges and Measures for the Maintenance of Standards in Higher Education 2010.
2.    University of Delhi’s Guidelines on the Issue of Making Ad-hoc Appointments of Lecturers in Colleges/Departments Duly Approved by the Executive Council at its Meeting Held on 27.12.2007 Vide Resolution No. 120 (8).

Original petition  at  Change.Org

[author ]Prerna Malhotra has been teaching English language and literature at Colleges of the University of Delhi. Her areas of interest include English romantic poetry, Jewish literature, ELT, translation and poetry composition. She is the co-author of a book, Technical Writing and Communication: Theory and Practice. She has done many translation projects including one with Voice and Vision titled Creating Learning Opportunities- a disability manual for teaching blind and deaf-blind students (around 600 pages). She has worked with Indian Council of Agricultural Research and Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India and been part of their translation and editing work individually as well as in teams. She has presented papers in national and international conferences.[/author]