National Democratic Teachers' Front
NDTF is an organisation committed to helping the cause of teachers & teaching, research & innovation, and simultaneously inculcate the spirit of nationalism and patriotism in the university community. NDTF strives to be an instrument of improving the working conditions of teachers and also be an agent of the transformation of society through education
NDTF- A JOURNEY
The journey of National Democratic Teachers Front (NDTF) as it exists today began from early 1980. After the dark days of Indira Gandhi's fascist National Emergency, the need for an organisation of nationalist and democratic-minded teachers in DU was keenly felt. More than a hundred nationalist teachers were detained under MISA and DIR. Sh.OP Kohli, Sh.RN Vij and some others spent over 19 months in Jail till Jan'1977. Under the leadership of Sh.OP Kohli, and assisted by a team of veterans like Prof.MM Sankhdhar, Prof. KK Mittal, Prof.KD Bajpayee, Sh. Ram Nath Vij, Prof.MM Sharma, Sh. IM Kapahy, Dr NK Kakkar, Sh.PD Chawla, Sh Swadesh Sharma and other NDTF was established with its own Constitution. Sh. OP Kohli as its Founder President.
Prior to the formal creation of NDTF our group of teachers was generally known as RSS-Jan Sangh group. There was also a group created in early 1970 known as University Teachers Forum which by and large represented the nationalist ideology. Dr. Vijay Kumar Malhotra, Sh. Devendra Swarup, Dr. Sahib Singh Verma, Principal Mohan Lal , Bhai Mahaveer, Dr SC Bajpai, Prof. MM Sharma contributed a lot to ideologically and otherwise strengthen the group. Sh.VK Malhotra, Sh OP Kohli, Sh.Mohan Lal were also elected teacher representatives on DU AC when there were only 6 elected teachers in that body.
In 1969 our group formally supported Sh. Ruddar Dutt Ji, an independent candidate, in the DUTA Presidential elections. He won defeating a strong leftist candidate. During Ruddar Dutt ji's Presidency DUTA achieved epochal successes. Astt.Lecturers all became lecturers in one stroke, rational tutorial-precipitorial schemes were introduced, the student-teacher ratio was defined, the size of the section and of tutorial/precipitotial/practical groups was formalised. Under Dutt Sahib DUTA laid solid groundwork for future achievements. It is significant to note that NDTF leaderships, whether in DUTA or in DU EC & AC, or in any other UGC/ Ed. Ministry fora, always work for positive results, not merely in show off militancy.
1973 was a watershed year for our ideological group. Sh.OP Kohli contested DUTA Presidential elections along with 5 members panel for the Executive: Dr.NK Kakkar, Dr GR Chopra, Dr.ML Malhotra, Dr.RK Seth and Dr.YS Mehta. The entire panel won convincingly. IM Kapahy won independently but was incorporated into the group. Sh MM Sharma, Sh RN Vij, Sh PD Chawla and many others used to be tireless activists during those days. IM Kapahy was offered the Secretaryship of DUTA, Dr.GR Chopra Jt. Secretaryship and Dr.NK Kakkar Treasureship. Bonds developed during 1973 continue with ever-increasing vigour till today. Irrespective of whatsoever high position Kohliji may have graced subsequently he always remained accessible and affectionate towards all in NDTF. He is the true 'Bhisham Pitamah' of NDTF. Dr VK Malhotra, Dr. Sahib Singh Verma, Dr.Jagdish Mukhi also always remained very helpful towards NDTF.
Elected Representation and Organisational Restructuring
NDTF had always been active in the cause of teachers and teaching irrespective of whether or not it occupies the DUTA Presidential post. Sh.OP Kohli(2 terms) Dr.NK Kakkar(2 terms) and Sh. SR Oberoi had been elected DUTA Presidents from NDTF. DUTA had a long list of achievements during their tenures. In the Executive Council, Sh OP Kohli along with Dr.SS Rathi was the first elected teacher representatives (1979-83). Subsequently Sh.IM Kapahy, Dr.NK Kakkar, Dr.KP Chinda, Dr.Rajveer Sharma, Dr. Gurmohinder Singh, Dr.AK Bhagi and Dr VS Negi were elected to the EC from NDTF panel. Our group has helped many get elected to the EC from the DU Court constituency. Prominent among them are: Vijay Goel, Sudhanshu Mittal, Surya Khatri, Naresh Beniwal, Rajesh Gogna. They have all worked in perfect coordination with NDTF. There is a long list of teachers associated with NDTF or its earlier Avatars who have competently represented teachers in the DU AC - as a rough estimate about 80. In the DUTA many an NDTF reps have contributed as Secretaries, Vice Presidents, Treasurers and Executive members.
Beginning with Sh.OP Kohli NDTF had the benefit of many illustrious Organisational Presidents: Dr.BB Tayal, Sh.IM Kapahy, Dr.NK Kakkar, Dr Awanijesh Awasthy, Sh. RK Bhatia, Dr.AK Bhagi and Dr.Rakesh Pandey. At present Dr. Bhagi is the President and Dr.VS Negi the Gen.Secretary.
During the last 2 months, the NDTF has reorganized itself into 4 functional verticals: Organisational matters, University matters, Media affairs and ideological issues/Study Circle. Each vertical is managed by a designated Vice President and Secretary. All verticals work in tandem and in coordination with the President and Gen.Secretary. Besides, the NDTF has created 4 geographical zones to facilitate decentralisation of organisational work. All the office Bearers, elected teacher representatives on various University Bodies and DUTA Executive, Zonal in charges and some others nominated for their experience constitute the Executive Committee of the NDTF. It should be clear from the above the emphasis of the NDTF is towards work orientation for achieving positive results.
Achievement and Result Orientation
NDTF believes in directing its efforts towards achievement and result orientation. Exhibition of empty show off aggression and militancy, as is wont of some groups particularly leftists, is not in the nature of NDTF training and mindset. Many, if not most, of the positive achievements for teachers and for our university system, have come due to the contribution of NDTF efforts. An example to illustrate :
For the last 10 years, ever since the 2008/10 UGC illogical, irrational and anti-academic Regulation came into operation DU and its colleges suffered tremendously. Only a small window for regular appointments (in all about 500 against 5000 required) was opened and NO PROMOTION took place causing huge despondency in the University community. On the contrary, NDTF played a positive role in the 1998/2000 (post-Vth UGC PRC Report) to ensure not only smooth appointments to regular teaching positions but expeditious promotions and placements of all teachers (literally 99.9%) under the then framed MPS. NDTF played an important role in negotiating with UGC/MHRD to get a fair deal and then participated positively in drafting the relevant Ordinances and Statutes. As consequence teachers in the departments were promoted to Professorships and to Reader Status in Colleges. Those who completed 5years as Readers were placed at the 7 increment stage. It was because of this jump that over 3500 teachers were placed in PB4. Sh OP Kohli, IM Kapahy, Dr NK Kakkar, Sh RK Bhatia along with the then DUTA President Sh. SR Oberoi played a determining role in this. It is significant to note that not a single teacher has been placed in the PB4 in the post 6th UGC PRC Regulation 2008/10. The DUTA leadership completely failed teachers NDTF played an active & decisive role in highlighting the irrationalities and grave pitfalls in the 2008/10 Regulations. When Sh Kapahy became a member of the UGC in 2015 he vociferously and consistently raised the issue of removing those irrationalities. The Regulation was geared more to deny than grant promotions. Finally because of joint efforts of Sh Kapahy/ AK Bhagi/ Prof.SP Singh/ VSNegi we were able to achieve the following through UGC Regulations 2018. It is time to get these implemented through DUTA support, hopefully, that is:
No requirement of API for promotions up to Associate Professor level; promotion by simple filling of self-appraisal proforma; pending promotions can also be considered as per optional API free promotion scheme of UGC regulations 2018 or by relaxed API scheme; promotion to Professorship in colleges and Senior Professorship in university departments under CAS; college level selection committees for associate professor and professor promotion; advance increments for PhD and M Phil as earlier; Controversial formula of 50:30:20 for recruitment at assistant professor scrapped; 20% of the faculty strength can avail study leave for PhD; college principals will now be designated as Principal Professors and will rejoin as professors on completion of their term as principal; principals may get second term of 5 years only after assessment; uniform screening method for assistant professor in all universities and colleges; all allowances such as HRA, TA, DA, pension, gratuity, children education allowance, LTC and Medical in consonance with central government employees and from same date as effective for central government employees; regulations clearly mentions to avoid appointments of contractual teachers, so no need to be adopted in DU; Earn Leave to be given to teachers, if vacations are curtailed; no compromise in promotion date due to study leave/CCL/maternity and all other paid leaves; No compromise in promotion date, if Orientation and refresher course is not done in span period upto 31, December, 2018; Research Scores for professorship and for the post of Principal shall be counted for both peer reviewed refereed and UGC listed journals; both supervisors and co-supervisors for PhD in joint supervision to get equal research scores; both project investigators and joint investigators to get equal research scores; Research scores for state/national teaching awards and fellowship; House Building Advance facility withdrawn in last Pay Commission restored; counting of past ad hoc service allowed as for the first time in regulations; Physical Education in the list of teaching subjects for appointments • Stopping VC from passing contractual appointments ordinance in EC • Resolved Roster issue by convincing Govt to bring bill in parliament and opening opportunity for regularization as per constitutional provisions of reservation • Ensured rejoining of all ad hoc colleagues on every renewal and more specifically after SC decision on roster by maintaining status in colleges through UGC letter on 19 July, 2018 •NET Exemption for Ph.D. holders (prior to 2009 and thereafter) • Parity to MTech. as that of M.Phil.• Restoration of External Examiner Scheme for Practical Examination wherever applicable • Defying attempt of St. Stephens College Governing Council to grab more powers beyond University Rules and obtaining Autonomous status • Expanding the list of hospitals and pathological lab etc. (notification has been issued) • Withdrawal of controversial readings from the DU syllabus • Teachers and students friendly M.Phil./Ph.D. ordinance VI B allowing college teachers to become Ph. D. supervisors at par with department teachers (it was withdrawn and made discriminatory by the previous regime) • Roll Back of FYUP • Stopped Autonomous College scheme in DU.
The above is the list of recent achievements. Earlier in 1979 when Kohliji was the President about 300 teachers who were appointed through regular selection committees on the posts advertised as permanent/ temporary likely to be made permanent/without any mention of temporary but were not given regular appointments, were all regularised. Also for more than 15 years, DUTA had been pursuing the chimaera of Running Grade. No success. NDTF leadership first raised the demand for time-bound promotions without any quota. That was more beneficial because with every promotion/ higher promotion teachers get additional increment jumps. It is significant to note that when the long strike on the quota less promotion was launched DTF leadership wanted to settle for the quota and withdraw the strike. The DUTA President Arun Bose abdicated. NDTF and general teachers continued the strike and after almost 4 months results were achieved.
As was mentioned earlier NDTF believes in results and achievements. These come through logical and well-prepared arguments, tough negotiations, and suitable & timely militant collective actions. In the past, many other achievements were realised through this approach of NDTF. To name a few: House Building Loans, Car Loans, Increase of elected teacher representatives in AC from10 to 20 and subsequently to 26, 2 elected teachers on EC, adoption of EC of a Resolution giving full academic status to Physical Education teachers, Librarians and Computer Programmers, etc.
NDTF I am sure shall carry forward its glorious traditions of result-oriented collective effort.
By - Inder Mohan Kapahy