New Delhi: The teaching staff of the Delhi University (DU) went on a two-day strike, beginning Tuesday, to protest against the prevailing “crisis” in the 12 state government-funded colleges under the varsity. The protesting teachers flayed the Aam Aadmi Party-led government for delaying the release of grants to colleges under it.
Called by Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA), the strike action saw the varsity teachers organise an online meeting on Tuesday to register their protest, even as one instalment of the grants-in-aid was released on Tuesday by the Delhi government.
“The 2nd installment (sic) of grants-in-aid released today is highly insufficient. DUTA finds it is extremely unfortunate that it takes protests to get salaries. All dues of employees remain still pending including against medical bills and salaries of ad-hoc teachers. The grants released are insufficient for the implementation of recent promotions in terms of salary enhancement,” the teachers’ body said in a press statement.
The grants were released to the 12 university colleges, which are fully funded by the Delhi Government. The institutions include Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar College, Shaheed Rajguru College of Applied Sciences for Women, Aditi Mahavidyalaya, Keshav Mahavidyalaya, Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies, Bhagini Nivedita College, Acharya Narendra Dev College, Maharishi Balmiki College of Education, Bhaskaracharya College of Applied Science, Indira Gandhi Institute of Physical Education and Sports Science, Maharaja Agrasen College and Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College.
Teachers and non-teaching workers in these colleges were bearing the brunt of irregular and delayed release of funds – a bone of contention between the colleges, DU, and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government – for over a year now.
DUTA said on Tuesday that despite the grandiose announcements made by the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal about the release of Rs 28 crores towards the grants-in-aid for the said colleges, the prevailing “insufficient grants” is leading to “delays in disbursement of salaries and other dues.”
The teachers’ body “has been repeatedly pointing out that inordinate and unexplained delays in release of grant have had a crippling effect on these institutions, which are amongst the best colleges of the country. The teachers, students and employees will not tolerate this willful destruction of these premier institutions,” the statement added.
On Tuesday, Rajib Ray, president of DUTA, told Newsclick that the teachers would continue their strike action even on Wednesday. “It was a successful strike today. Teachers from many DU colleges even attended the online protest meeting where they castigated the AAP government,” he said.
Asked about the instalment of grants-in-aid released today, Ray said, “It is just part of what the AAP government does every time we stage a protest. The amount is completely insufficient for the current quarter. And thus, the situation of salary delays of teachers will not be permanently solved.”
Moreover, he told Newsclick that the striking teachers on Tuesday demanded that the 12 said colleges should be taken over by the University Grants Commission (UGC) to “end this repeated crisis”.
There are a total of 28 colleges affiliated with the DU, which are funded, fully or partially, by the Delhi government.
Newsclick has reported earlier about the issue of the non-formation of governing bodies, a statutory group responsible for taking all administrative and financial decisions, at the 12 fully funded colleges. It had first led the AAP government and the administration of DU – a central university that receives grants from the University Grants Commission (UGC) – to lock horns.