AAP’s new front: Battle with DU over college bodies

Minister sisodia Threatens to withdraw funding to colleges if AAP nominees are not included

New Delhi | Published: February 10, 2014 1:27:56 am
Manish Sisodia Manish Sisodia

After the controversy surrounding 90 per cent reservation for Delhi residents in government-funded colleges in the capital, Education Minister Manish Sisodia and Delhi University have locked horns on the constitution of governing bodies in colleges and selection of teachers.

While DU has claimed that it has the required number of members to hold governing body meetings, Sisodia has red-flagged the move as governing bodies at present do not include nominees of the AAP government.

“I had asked the DU Vice-Chancellor to send me his list of probable nominees for the selection committee. They wrote back, saying they have the required quorum to hold meetings. I already have a list of 250 names to nominate to governing bodies. These are qualified people whom we want for the job,’’ Sisodia said.

DU said governing bodies could meet if one-third of the members were present. The governing body of each college has 15 members. A senior DU official said, “Of the 15, the government nominates five members. Five more are selected by the government from a list given by the V-C. The college principal, two representatives from DU and two from the college make up the remaining five. The university ordinance states that one third members of the governing body shall form the quorum.”

Irked by this, Sisodia questioned why the government should continue funding these colleges in such a scenario. “If government participation is not needed in this process, why should we provide them funds?’’ Sisodia said.

There are 12 colleges in DU, which are fully funded by the Delhi government, while 16 others are partially funded by it.

The AAP government had taken out advertisements last month, asking people in the education field to send their applications for the job as they wanted to “replace political members of the previous government with people who are qualified”.

Appointment of teachers in DU takes place on the recommendations of a selection committee constituted by college governing bodies.

According to a section of Ordinance XVIII, the selection committee for appointment of teachers shall be constituted on the following lines — chairperson of the governing body or her nominee, college principal, two nominees of the Vice-Chancellor (one of them should be a subject expert), two subject experts not associated with the college, but nominated by the governing body chairperson and a senior teacher. The quorum of the meeting should be five, of which at least two must be subject experts, the ordinance says.

Teachers at DU also came down heavily on Sisodia’s letter to the university administration, alleging that the AAP government was engaging in “arm-twisting tactics” to get a hold in the university.

“This letter is a repeated attack on the autonomy of the university. More than 4,000 teachers are waiting for their permanent interviews and the process has already been initiated. This is in the last leg of fixing the dates for various subjects. Withholding the interviews will further delay the appointment process,” Rajesh Jha, who teaches political science at Rajdhani College, said.

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