Teachers, students gear up for elections

Parties nominate DUTA poll candidates

With the reopening of Delhi University, teachers and students groups are gearing up to start election campaigning for Delhi University Teachers’ Association and Delhi University Students’ Union polls to be held on August 29 and September 10 respectively.

Several teachers’ unions have announced their candidates for DUTA election.
Left-affiliated Democratic Teachers’ Federation (DTF) has pitched for Nandita Narain for the post of president. Narain is an associate professor of Mathematics in St Stephen’s College. She has been twice member of the academic council (AC) and twice of the executive council (EC). DTF has opposed the new four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP)since the beginning.

The present DUTA also has a DTF member as its president.

“DTF intends to consolidate the teachers’ movement and intensify DUTA’s fight against the callous university administration, and the policy assault by the government in higher education,” said a member. “Narain has been at the forefront of teachers’ struggles for years.”

The election agenda will focus on service conditions of ad hoc teachers and restoring the culture of informed debate.

One of the recently split teachers’ group, Academics for Action and Development (AAD), has also announced its candidates. Both the teachers’ groups go by the same name even after the split.

Former DUTA secretary and AC/EC member Shiba C Panda will stand for the post of president. While the group members had reservations on the curriculum of FYUP, there was no open opposition to it. The service conditions of teachers is one of the agenda in the forthcoming elections.

The two dominant students’ union in the varsity — National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parshad (ABVP) — have started membership drive in colleges for freshers.

 “It has been 14 years that no new DU college has been made. Issues like high cut-offs, denying education to many and rising cost of accommodation (hostels and paying guest), among others, have been ignored despite raising voice against them every year,” said an ABVP member.

Handmade posters of NSUI and ABVP asking students to join them have been put up in colleges.

“Campaigning will be in full swing in the second week of August. The DUSU office will be shut down till election results are out by mid August,” said a DUSU member.
Last year, NSUI won a majority of seats in DUSU.

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