Owing to failure in the constitution of their governing bodies by Delhi University (DU), Delhi Government has stopped funds to 28 DU colleges.
Delhi government has once again stopped the funding of 28 DU colleges, partially or fully funded by them owing to the delay in the appointment of their Governing Bodies, Education Minister of Delhi, Manish Sisodia said on Monday.
The previously appointed bodies ended their term on 9th March. On 20th February, Sisodia had written to DU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Yogesh Tyagi for extension of their term for three months. However, no action was taken by the University.
The Hindu has reported that Delhi government had given the University a deadline of 31st July last year to clear appointments of the ten member governing bodies for each of the 28 colleges, which had been pending since 2016. The government had stopped the funding earlier too, in 2017 as DU had deferred formation of the Governing Bodies.
On Monday, Sisodia directed the Finance Department to stop the funds, which amount to INR 360 crore annually, over what he termed was the “deliberate and mala fide attempt to delay formation of governing bodies”.
According to a report by Times of India, in his letter to DU Vice Chancellor and the Finance Department, Sisodia said, “Delhi University has not constituted the governing bodies in the 28 colleges…till date. It is directed that till the governing bodies are formed in these colleges, no funds should be released.”
He added that because of the absence of governing bodies, there was no one to keep an eye on how the colleges function. “As the custodian of public money, I cannot allow unchecked corruption and irregularities to be sustained on government funds.”
This decision by the government was met with a strong dissent by the Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) and Nation Democratic Teachers’ Front (NDTF) who demanded the withdrawal of the decision.
“The DUTA finds it unacceptable that the employees of these colleges be held to ransom because of the impasse created by the University and/or the Government. The stopping of funds is a short-sighted step as it will only disrupt the academic and administrative functioning of these colleges when students are preparing for their semester exams,” Rajib Ray, President of DUTA said in a press release.
Abha Dev Habib, former Executive Council member also expressed her immense displeasure and said, “DU had taken almost a year last time for the formation of Governing Bodies and the standoff between DU and Delhi Government resulted in funds cut, delayed salaries etc.. The history seems to be repeating itself. Governance, teachers, non-teaching employees and students suffered in the twelve colleges, which are 100% funded by the Delhi Government. Also last time the DU list had a large number of names which appeared to be because of BJP interference and the list did not give options to Delhi Government to choose. We fear that we are heading towards a similar situation.”
Devesh Sinha, Dean of Colleges, DU, however, has denied any deadlock between the university and the government. He said that DU had written to the government on Monday, assuring that governing bodies of all colleges funded by the government would be formed within two weeks.
Sinha further added, “The EC has objections to the list of names that were nominated. The governing bodies are supposed to include experts from various fields. However, in some cases, the government had recommended five persons from the field of education for one college. We are sorting this out and will form the bodies within two weeks.”
The move, however, is unlikely to affect the colleges immediately as the next instalment of funds from the government isn’t due till September. But if it drags on till November, it will become very difficult for colleges which are fully funded by the government particularly.
Feature Image Credits: Niharika Dabral for DU Beat