DU College mandates course on Bhagavad Gita for staff; teachers dissent over extended working hours

Ramanujan College of Delhi University has issued a directive requiring its teaching and non-teaching staff to undergo a mandatory certificate-cum-refresher course on Bhagavad Gita, sparking dissatisfaction among some teachers who expressed concerns about the potential promotion of “sectarian beliefs.”

The 20-day course, scheduled to run until January 9, is offered both online and offline, from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm. College principal SP Aggarwal, in an email to the teaching staff, explained that the course aligns with the establishment of the Indian Knowledge System Centre at the college, emphasizing the need to sensitize staff through such programs.

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The communication also mentioned that similar programs would be organized not only for the Bhagavad Gita but also for the Vedas, integral components of the Indian Knowledge System.

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In a statement, the DTF said Ramanujan principal SP Agarwal has “abused the powers vested in him to dictate” to all teachers and non-teaching staff to compulsorily register for and attend a refresher certificate course on Bhagavad Gita.

In response, the Democratic Teachers’ Front (DTF), a teachers’ outfit, has called for the withdrawal of the mandatory registration. The DTF asserted that the principal, SP Agarwal, has overstepped his authority by compelling all teachers and non-teaching staff to register for and attend a refresher certificate course on Bhagavad Gita.

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The DTF statement labeled the coercion of teachers and non-teaching staff to remain engaged beyond official duties and the additional burden of conducting ongoing semester examinations as unacceptable.

“Illegally coercing teachers and non-teaching staff to remain engaged till 6.30 pm beyond official duties and the added burden of conducting the ongoing semester examinations of students is unacceptable,” it added, as quoted by ANI.

(With Inputs from ANI)

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Published: 28 Dec 2023, 01:20 PM IST

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