NEW DELHI: On Saturday evening, Delhi University’s Executive Council adopted University Grants Commission’s policies that will govern how teachers are recruited and promoted and, consequently, decide the course of the institution itself. In the emergent meeting of the EC, DU adopted the fourth amendment of the UGC on the basis of which regular appointments to roughly half the posts in DU will be conducted.
As per the new recruitment policy, 50% weightage will be given to “academic record and research performance”; 30% to “assessment of domain knowledge and teaching skills”; and the remaining 20% to interview performance. This replaces the earlier one of relying entirely on the interview. EC-member Abha Dev Habib says the new process, still far from perfect, does introduce some measure of “transparency” to the process. In the previous system, a selection committee could pick anyone, practically for any reason, no questions asked. “Now, at least they’ll have to create this table and fill in scores. This is a make-or-break situation for the university. 4,000 teachers – half the university’s teaching staff — will be recruited through this process and they will be in service for 30 years,” said Dev Habib. But Academics for Action and Development argue that this distribution of weightage will mean “a majority of the long-serving ad hoc teachers will not be regularised.”
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But the new system only partially undercuts the potential for arbitrariness the previous one had. Dev Habib points out that 50% weightage to “academic record and research performance” without proper guidelines on how this is to be assessed means, “it will yet again depend on the selection committee.” She argued that the departments should be allowed to pick their own parameters for judging the quality of research — making the exercise more objective — and dissented because the selection committee was left to decide on the 50%. Academic Council member Nachiketa Singh agrees that “if the qualification criteria are not spelt out, there’s no difference between the old process and the new.” The high court had to intervene to get recruitment going again in DU.
The issue of the reservation roster is still unresolved. Delhi University held a meeting with liaison officers on Saturday. Dev Habib points out that DU continues to use “a faulty roster imposed through the emergency powers of the VC in September 2013.” “That roster must be corrected so that posts can be advertised,” she says.
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