Delhi University : The Recent Agitation
THE two-month long agitation of Delhi University teachers has indicated for the first time that the Capital's 'peace-loving' and 'stability-minded' intellectuals are not as conservative as many had so long thought them to be.\ The movement has unmistakingly demonstrated that teachers are concerned not only with their service conditions but also with the broad issues related to our educational system.
The extent of teachers' involvement was quite evident when they made two massive demonstrations, 1,800-strong and 2,500-strong respectively, one before the Vice-Chancellor and the other before the Parliament. It should be remembered in this connection that, out of a total of 4,229 teachers, a little over 3,300 teach in about 45 colleges, about 500 man the professional colleges, and another 400 are in the post-graduate departments. Women teachers constitute about 36 per cent of the total. About 60 per cent of the teachers of Delhi University participated in the demonstration before Parliament, a remarkable rate of participation by any standard.
It all started apparently after the President of India had promulgated an Ordinance on 22nd June 1972 amending the Delhi University Act. For the Delhi University Teachers' Association, however, it was the revival of a movement they had initiated earlier in February 1972.
During the last quarter of 1971, J P Naik's paper on "Re-organisation of Higher Education" was discussed in many seminars and symposia organised by a few universities, the University Grants Commission, and the Inter-University Board of India and Ceylon. (Educational Planning reform, and other decisions regarding universities or university education are functionally the concurrent responsibility of the Ministry of Education, the U G C and the Inter-University Board). Naik proposed a comprehensive model envisaging (a) universities to look after post-graduate education and research only ; (b) greater number of advanced atudy Centres like the Jawaharlal Nehru University with special emphasis on quality ; (c) undergraduate education organised exclusively by colleges to be managed by autonomous College Boards (like the U P Board of Intermediate Education) and (d) autonomous colleges giving their own degrees, and managing their own affairs with enough freedom to do so.
The Delhi University Teachers' Association (DUTA) said in February 1972 that Naika's proposal was, intact, the proposal of the Education