The tussle between Delhi University colleges funded by Delhi government and Aam Aadmi Party government does not seem to be ending after the college principals alleged that the grants-in-aid for second month consistently remained inadequate for disbursing salaries and meeting other expenses and they will not be able to pay salaries till May.
The Delhi government, in an order on June 3, gave nod for grants worth Rs 18.75 crore. However, the release came with a caveat that the next grant will be allocated only after the issue of formation of governing bodies is resolved. The Delhi government has been pressing for its stake in the colleges funded by it through the governing council.
The issue flared up after it alleged that the colleges were filling faculty and non-faculty positions without any consultation. As per the Delhi University statutes, the governing body consists of 15 members. The varsity usually sends a list of persons from which the government needs to choose five members. Additionally, five members will be recommended by the Delhi government. Another five members are taken from the Delhi University administration, a couple of teachers and principals from other colleges. In absence of governing bodies, the colleges had recruited a few teachers, but the process came to a halt after the government raised objections and stopped the funding.
A statement by Delhi University Teachers' Association stated that the colleges were facing a cumulative deficit of Rs 18.67 crore with Aditi Mahavidyalaya bearing the biggest deficit of Rs 3.85 crore. Similarly, Maharaja Agrasen College showed a deficit of Rs 2.98 crore.
Rajib Ray, president, Delhi University Teachers' Association, in its letter to Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, said,"[T]he grants, sanctioned till date, are much less than the money required to cover salaries upto May. The grants sanctioned on 25.3.2020 were barely enough to cover salaries of January and February. Similarly, Grant-in-Aid released on 7.5.2020 could not cover salaries up to April. Grant-in-Aid released by the Sanction Order dated 3.6.2020 is once again not adequate."
Ray added, “In the last several months, the colleges have not been able to make payments towards reimbursements, pending vacation salaries of ad-hoc teachers and arrears due to employees on account of the 7th Pay Revision. Colleges also do not have funds to pay for electricity bills, property tax and general maintenance. The 12 colleges are in dire need of the additional funds necessary for development of infrastructure development for smooth academic and administrative functioning."
Ray emphasised that consistent curtailing of funds by the Delhi government has begun to show impact on the expansion plans of institutions while the recruitment of teachers under Economically Weaker Section quota has been put in jeopardy. Ray added, "The colleges still await release of funds for additional posts for teaching and non-teaching staff in view of the extension of reservation to EWSs and consequent increase in intake of students. Moreover, some of the new courses that were started after obtaining the necessary approvals are being starved of funds required for appointing teachers to run these courses. The delay in doing so, despite repeated reminders, has undermined the teaching learning process and affected the quality of education imparted in these institutions."
Delhi government funds 28 colleges in all – 12 fully and 16 partially. The 12 colleges are Indira Gandhi Institute of Physical Education & Sports Science, Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies, Shaheed Rajguru College, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College, Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar College, Acharya Narendra Dev College, Bhagini Nivedita College, Keshav Maha Vidyalaya, Maharaja Agrasen College, Aditi Mahavidyalaya, Maharishi Valmiki College of Education and Bhaskaracharya College of Applied Science.
Sixteen colleges that are partially-funded by the Delhi Government are Shivaji College, Motilal Nehru College, Laxmi Bai College, Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, Maitreyi College, SPM College for Women, Satyawati College, Vivekanand College, Rajdhani College, Kamla Nehru College, Gargi College, Swami Shraddhanand College, Kalindi College, Bharti College, Sri Aurobindo College and Delhi College of Arts and Commerce.
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