Monday, November 29, 1999

DU teachers-VC standoff continues

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New Delhi, May 16 (PTI) The stand-off between members of Delhi University''s Academic Council and the Vice Chancellor continued for the fourth day, even as the agitating teachers alleged that they were manhandled and beaten up by security guards when they tried to approach the VC. Members of the Academic Council are on a sit-in outside the office of VC Deepak Pental since May 13 against what they call a unilateral imposition of semester-based syllabi in undergraduate courses of the science department. In a special meeting on Thursday, the AC had approved the courses to be implemented from session 2010-2011, but members say the decision was imposed by the Vice Chancellor. The protesters are demanding that the VC gives a ear to them and assures them that the decision would be reviewed and not imposed in a hurry and without debate and discussion. Meanwhile, representatives of the Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA) today claimed that they were physically assaulted and beaten up by security guards when they tried to meet Pental. "We do not know what prompted this. The members, including DUTA''s Vice President and treasurer were beaten up. We have bruises on our bodies," DUTA President Aditya Narayan Misra alleged. He said they were approaching the VC to pursuade him to meet the protesting members of the AC, to resolve the conflict. "We had to approach him there as he has stopped giving us time," he told PTI. "There are 19 AC members who are on a sit-in, seven of them are women. The Vice Chancellor should show consideration for them, and listen to their grievances, at least as colleagues," Misra said. He said since the VC is not coming to his office where the protest is on, they had to go to the South Campus where he was speaking at a conference, to meet him and seek a discussion on the feasibility of the semester system. The AC protesters, meanwhile, said they had no intention to back off until the VC categorically assures them that the issue of revised syllabi and semester will be reviewed and discussed in a democratic fashion. "We are not against the semester system per se, but we do not want it to be implemented in a hurry, and that is what is being done by the university administration. We are against the manner in which it is being imposed, and this will lead to chaos," said Prof J Khuntia, member, AC. Prof Khuntia said the VC had sent a message to the protesters that he would be visiting them today. The agitation started soon after the Academic Council meeting on May 13 during which Pental refused a debate on the revised syllabi of 12 courses and got it approved without any discussion, the members said. PTI WAJ.

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