Delhi University’s College of Vocational Studies has been paying a non-teaching staff the salary of an assistant professor without the approval of the University Grants Commission (UGC), teachers have claimed. The college is fully funded by the UGC. The commission had sought information on the issue several times, but the college did not reply, a reply to an RTI filed by a teacher has revealed.
Teachers have now written to the college’s governing body chairman, alleging that there has been an anomaly of about Rs 80 lakh for 12 years at the behest of the college principal. The teachers alleged that Kuldeep Ahuja, an instructor, was paid the salary of an assistant professor and also given PhD increment for the last 10 years. They also said Ahuja will retire at the end of the month as he will turn 60 — the age of retirement for non-teaching staff.
“The UGC has been writing to the college to explain the amount being paid to him, and repeatedly said the college has not provided a reply,” a college teacher claimed.
In 2009, the UGC had sent a letter after the audit, asking the college to explain Ahuja’s salary. The letter said the amount is in the “higher scale of pay as per UGC norms”. A similar letter was sent in 2011, asking for an explanation within three months. In 2012, UGC asked the college to send the salary slip of the revised pay to the teacher in the band of Rs 6,500-10,500. Sources said Ahuja was drawing a salary of Rs 75,000-80,000 a month — almost double of what he was entitled to.
“It was only in 2015 when the RTI reply was received that we got to know that the college never sent a clarification to the UGC. Since then, the UGC has not been sending the amount and he is being paid from the students’ fund,” a teacher claimed.
Ahuja did not respond to calls and messages. Principal Inderjeet Dagar said the college has nothing to do with this as the university takes a decision on financial matters. “Whatever was done was as per university rules. The university, south campus, decides the office payment and pay fixation. There is no anomaly and if there was one, why are teachers raising the issue after 12 years, when he is about to retire?” he said.
A teacher said the matter was being raised again now since Ahuja is retiring and the amount can be recovered from him.
On Ahuja being given PhD increment, Dagar said, “The college EC resolution states that instructors with masters degree should be paid as per the lecturer band. Since Ahuja has a PhD, he was given the increment.”
However, an RTI reply from the CPIO Delhi University in 2013 states, “No circular with regard to the grant of increment on acquiring of PhD by the instructor has been issued by this authority.”