The Delhi University Teachers’ Association on Friday protested against the AAP government for stopping grants to 28 colleges partially or fully funded by it. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia told PTI that the university has to be “transparent and accountable to Delhi government if it needs money from it”.
Teachers, under the banner of DUTA, gathered outside Vidhan Sabha to demonstrate a protest “at the manner in which the employees of the 28 colleges partially or fully funded by the Delhi government are being treated”, the Teachers’ Association said. As a result of the stand-off with DU on the matter of non-formation of governing bodies, the Delhi government has once again stopped grants to colleges. This has led to crisis in these units, especially the 12 colleges fully funded by the Delhi government.
The staff association office bearers of the 12 colleges narrated how uncertainty in getting salaries has led to crisis in colleges. Employees, teaching and non-teaching staff are under tremendous stress, they said.
“The repeated stopping of funds is resulting in delayed payments of other reimbursements due to the employees. The worst hit are the teaching and non-teaching staff working on ad-hoc or contract basis,” they said. This unwarranted action of the government is also affecting the students enrolled in these institutions as the academic and administrative day-to-day functioning of these units is affected in myriad ways, the DUTA said.
The protestors also highlighted the urgent need of additional posts for teaching and non-teaching staff in view of the expansion of seats following the implementation of EWS quota. Many new courses that were started after obtaining the necessary approvals are also being starved of funds required for appointing teachers to run these courses, the teachers said.
The delay is affecting the quality of education in these units as institutions are forced to work with over crowded classrooms and adverse student-teacher ratio, they said. The DUTA also said that salaries, reimbursements and arrears due on account of the 7th Pay Revision are yet to be paid to employees of these colleges.
Protestors also demanded that the Delhi Government must perform its duty to pay the mandatory 5 per cent due from it in the case of the other partially funded 16 colleges. According to an official from Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College, “It has been three months since we paid the salary of the teaching and non-teaching staff. They have been cooperating with us but there will be a point when they will also give up. The students and teachers are suffering in this impasse between the government and university.”
A professor from Maharaja Agrasen College concurred with his colleague and said they have not received this month’s salary. Till the last month, the salary was given using the savings and some funds that the college had but now they do not have funds to pay salaries, he said.
Sisodia, who also holds the education portfolio, told PTI, “I cannot keep giving Delhi’s taxpayers money for DU corruption. People are being appointed illegally, money being spent without accountability. DU has to be transparent and accountable to Delhi government if they need money.”
The Delhi government had agreed to release grants to 28 DU colleges funded by it despite them not having their governing bodies in June but those funds were exhausted by colleges. Sisodia had written a letter on April 16 to the Secretary, Higher Education, stating that no funds should be given to 28 colleges (fully or partially-funded by them) till they form their governing bodies.
The issue of formation of governing bodies led to an impasse between the Delhi University and the AAP government, with both accusing each other of delaying the process. The university had formed an apex committee to look into the issue and it has submitted its recommendations to the varsity vice-chancellor, but there has been no decision on it yet, sources said.
The 12 colleges fully-funded by the Delhi government include Indira Gandhi Institute of Physical Education & Sports Science, Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies, Shaheed Raj Guru College and Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College. Shivaji College, Motilal Nehru College, Laxmi Bai College and Shaheed Bhagat Singh College are among the 16 colleges partially-funded by the government.