According to an online survey, it has been established beyond doubt that the temporary teachers work for longer hours as compared to the regular teachers, handle excessively high workload as well as are allocated the vaguest of courses that have been introduced as part of the four-year-undergraduate-programme (FYUP).
The survey further revealed that ovr 48 per cent of the ad hoc teachers worked beyond the stipulated 18 lectures per week, and often they become the dumping grounds of teaching work that the regular (with permanent positions in the University) teachers do not want to take up. Over 70 per cent of the ad hoc teachers handled more than 20 lectures a week, a classic case of exploitation of ‘cheap labour’ in the academy. To make matters worse, over 40 per cent of the ad hoc teachers are one with PhDs or postdoctoral fellowships under their kitty, and they can easily move abroad to pursue their academic or research interests, but they have far chosen not to do that. Clearly, recruitment of more teachers to fill up the vacancies that have been around for years is not a priority for the university, although the DUTA has been making it a rallying point.
Evidently, the university administration has much in common with those who run the clothing industry in Bangladesh or the electronic gasdet-manufacturing industry in China. They simply want to have cheap labour and not improve the working conditions. The university of Delhi has made the ad hoc teachers into its backbone, as it were, relying on this 50 per cent of all teaching positions, to carry out the maximum work. It is a shame that even though the teachers have been working for three to four years, postponing important life decisions such as marriage, pregnancies, or taking up long-term research, the university has refrained from granting them permanent positions, despite there being seats to fill up.