The Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) continues to resist the arbitrary appointment of Senior Administrative Officers (Sr AOs) in 12 government-funded DU colleges and the issue of a ‘Pattern of Assistance’ document by Delhi government.
As per reports shared with DU Beat on 5th April 2021, the DUTA has given a call for its second round of the “Jan Samvad” outreach programme, wherein DUTA activists provide the general public with leaflets/handbills to educate them about the implications of privatisation on the cost of education. This time, the awareness drives will take place in prominent areas in the constituency of Sri. Arvind Kejriwal, the hon’ble chief minister of Delhi— Gole Market, R. K. Ashram Metro Station, Janpath Metro Station and Barakhamba Road.
The conversations surrounding the current DUTA strikes primarily revolve around the issues faced by the employees of 12 government-funded Delhi University colleges on account of the systematic delay in the payment of salaries and other dues by the Government. Owing to the state’s failure to give timely grant-in-aids, the employees of these colleges have been compelled to go months without their salaries. Due to a shortage of funds, the pensions of the former employees have also been stopped, cutting off their only source of income. Moreover, the colleges have also been rendered unable to reimburse any financial bills, including the medical bills of their employees.
According to Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) Treasurer, Ms. Abha Dev Habib, the demand of the Directorate of Higher Education (DHE) that the colleges generate ‘internal resources’ so as to attain self-sufficiency
implies that educational institutions will have to raise their fees by exorbitant rates to meet their expenses, making education inaccessible to many. Furthermore, she mentioned that the Pattern of Assistance document also borrows the idea that Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) will be overlooked by a Board of Governors (BOGs), including the right to decide which courses to offer, number of students in the unit, admissions, examinations and the service conditions of the employees.
The issue of the ‘Pattern of Assistance’ has been addressed in a letter written by the University of Delhi (DU) to the DHE. However, such efforts won’t suffice till the DU administration takes concrete steps to ensure that these 12 DU colleges are governed within the framework of DU Acts and Ordinances. Moreover, the government needs to ensure that henceforth, there won’t be any delays in the release of grant-in-aids. The university is yet to inform the DUTA about the discussion which recently took place between the university officials and Mr. Manish Sisodia, deputy chief minister of Delhi . The DUTA also demanded that the university passes regulations against the appointment of Sr AOs, especially considering that the university does not have any provision for their appointment, and the ‘Pattern of Assistance’ in an emergency meeting of the Executive Council, failing which, the DUTA would be compelled to resume its strike from April 12, 2021.
Featured Image Credits: DU Beat archives