The Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) said on Tuesday that it will hold a protest on August 21 if the city government does not release adequate grant-in-aid for the 12 DU colleges fully funded by it.
The Delhi University and the AAP dispensation have been locked in a tussle over the formation of governing bodies in 28 colleges fully or partially funded by the government.
The DUTA said that governing bodies have been formed in nine out of 12 colleges fully funded by the government, but due to the “inadequate” grants, salaries have not been paid to employees since May.
On August 6, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s office issued a statement alleging corruption in the 12 DU colleges. In an online briefing, the DUTA termed the allegations “unsubstantiated”. Last week, the university too had refuted the allegations.
“It is obvious that this is another ploy for their callous and inhuman act of not releasing the required grant-in-aid to these colleges, as a result of which employees in these colleges have gone without salary for several months,” said DUTA president Rajib Ray.
Three different audits are conducted each year in colleges –internal which is conducted by auditors from the approved panel of DU, ELFA audit by Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi(GNCTD) and AGCR by the CAG.
“Hence, the sweeping allegations without details of objections, if any, raised by these agencies, is extremely suspicious and clearly an attempt to divert attention from the real issue at hand, that is the government’s inability to release the required grants.
“We will urge principals of these colleges to submit a detailed response to clear the baseless allegations made by the deputy chief minister,” Ray said.
He alleged that employees have gone without salaries for the past four months for no fault of theirs.
“For the past one year or more, the sanction of grants to the 12 colleges fully funded by the Delhi government has been sporadic and inadequate. Inordinate and unexplained delays in release of grant have had a crippling effect on institutions.
“This is totally unacceptable, more so in the current context, when employees are battling health and livelihood issues,” Ray added.
Most colleges have not paid salaries from the month of May. In some colleges, employees only received a part of their salary for the month of April, he claimed.
The Delhi government had released grants in aid for paying salaries in three instalments (final installment for the financial year 2019-2020 towards salaries from January to March), and two for financial year 2020-21.
On the release of each of these installments, it was brought to the notice of the Delhi government that the grants sanctioned were highly inadequate and not enough to cover salaries for the said periods, Ray said, adding the colleges have not received any grant-in-aid for the month of June, July or August.
The DUTA has given a call for protest at Mandi House on August 21, if the government does not release adequate grants for the colleges.
The Delhi government cannot merely welcome EWS reservation, the DUTA said, adding it needs to fulfil its duty towards expansion of educational institutions on that count.
Ray alleged the colleges have not been able to pay dues pending towards employees including medical bills, arrears of the seventh central pay commission and vacation salary of ad-hoc teachers for 2019.
Delhi Congress chief Anil Chaudhary alleged that due to the “political tug-of-war” between the BJP and the AAP governments, thousands of teaching and non-teaching employees have not been disbursed their salaries and pension for the past four months on the flimsy reason that governing bodies of these colleges have not been constituted.
As a result, the future of over 35,000 students, a majority of whom belong to the marginalized sections of society, has been put on line, he said.
“We are under no illusion that non-formation of governing bodies in the said 12 colleges is primarily because both the BJP government at the Centre and the AAP government in Delhi are fighting for exercising greater control over these colleges,” Chaudhary said.
He demanded immediate payment of salaries and pension to teaching and non-teaching employees of the 12 colleges.
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