Despite protests by teachers, the University of Delhi (DU) has signed a contentious tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) with regard to its funding.

In September last year, the MHRD had sent DU a notice that its funding would be withheld if it doesn’t sign the agreement which, as reported by The Indian Express, was termed “arm-twisting” by the DUTA. As reported by NDTV, The tripartite MoU requires universities to continuously increase the internal (self-generated) financial resource through fee hike, shift to revenue-earning commercial courses, engagement with other commercial activities, and manage greater part of their research activities through extramural funding.

It also mentions that release of funds and loans from Higher Education Funding Agency (HEFA) for expansion of infrastructure will depend on the institution’s performance. The DUTA had said that tripartite MoU initiate steps towards the privatisation design that forms the core of the Draft National Education Policy (NEP). “The Draft NEP 2019 aims to reduce the number of Higher Education Institutions (HIEs) while increasing the size of surviving institutions, which will be governed similarly by a privatised Board of Governors and have to have a development office to secure sources of funding other than government funding,” they added. UGC Secretary, Rajnish Jain, and sources in the MHRD confirmed that the MoU was signed last week.

Press Statement by Executive Council (EC), stated that J L Gupta & Rajesh Jha, members of EC, protested against signing of tripatrite MoU with MHRD and UGC recently, by the Vice Chancellor (VC), Mr. Yogesh Tyagi. They came to know that the VC has signed it and then, they wrote a letter to VC raising objection over its grave compromises with the autonomy of the university as conferred by the Parliament through DU Act 1922. It also stated, “This MoU imposes privatisation and contractualisation, on which they strongly dissented in the concerned committee and the EC. This MoU will change the inclusive character of higher education in India as the loans from HEFA are forced on us. When the whole University community has rejected this MoU, the VC should have gone for wider consultation with the statutory bodies and the elected bodies of students, karamcharis, and teachers rather than signing it up in a hush hush manner.” They have also demanded for the authorities to share all information and documents related to the MoU and stop its implementation in the University as it breaches the provisions of the Parliamentary Act. Rajib Ray, President, DUTA, too condemned the MoU and said, “We are yet to see which version was signed — the original or the diluted one approved by EC. Either way, we are opposed to this.” VC, Mr. Tyagi, was not available for a comment on the same.

Feature Image Credits: Aakarsh Gupta for DU Beat

Sakshi Arora

[email protected]

University of Delhi stands at the risk of getting its funds curtailed due to the non-signing of the Memorandum of Understanding  with the centre and the University Grants Commission.

University of Delhi (DU), once again, stands on the verge of fund cuts. This time around, it is due to the non-signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the centre and the University Grants Commission (UGC).

As reported by the Hindustan Times, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and the UGC entered into a pact with varsities laying down several parameters for them, during the last academic session. The MoUs lay down achievement targets and also form the basis of grants allotted to the institutions. The various parameters highlighted in the pact are related to the various targets, such as filling up vacancies, utilisation of resources, output targets in terms of programme of work, and action plan among others.

Rule 229(11) of the General Funancial Rules states, “autonomous organisations as also others with a budgetary support of more than INR five crores per annum, should be required to enter into a MoU with the administrative ministry or department, spelling out clearly performance parameters, output targets in terms of details of programme of work and qualitative improvement in output, along with commensurate input requirements.”

The rule further states, “The output targets, given in measurable units of performance, should form the basis of budgetary support extended to these organisations. The roadmap for improved performance with clear milestones should form part of the MoU.”

DU remains the only significant exception among all the 40 central universities which have signed the MoU with the centre and the UGC. Thus, it stands at a risk of getting its funds curtailed.

A senior official from UGC discussing the issue and the University’s stand on the same said, “Like last year, the tripartite MoUs are being signed again and most varsities have already entered into these pacts. However, DU continues to be an exception. Since, the varsity has not signed it, its funding can be curtailed. However, in a recent meeting the Vice Chancellor has assured that he would try to get the proposal cleared through the varsity’s executive council to pave way for the pact to be signed.”

The risk stands valid  ‘technically’ but the same issue arose last year when DU failed to sign the MoU. But, keeping in view the interest of the students, UGC didn’t take the step ahead in curtailing the funds. But, if the same leniency would be granted to the University this time around too is something which looks doubtful.

If this step of stopping the funds of the University is indeed taken, the students are bound to get affected as the subsidized fees of DU has made it possible for various students from relatively low income families to access the academics and facilities due to their merit. But, curtailing of funds would see a sky high increase in fees, making it almost impossible for such students to sustain in the University.

Finding the clauses and demands of the MoU unacceptable, Saikat Ghosh, a member of the academic council of Delhi University spoke to DU Beat. He said, “DU is entitled to adequate public funding as it is a premier public university imparting higher education to lakhs of students.The MHRD cannot bully DU into accepting unreasonable parameters and targets – that is simply bureaucratic interference of the meanest kind. As a public university, DU should not be browbeaten into accepting the clauses that demand incremental hikes in student fees and self-financing courses. DU has the statutory freedom to decide on its own targets and achievement parameters. It will not sign an MoU that encroaches on this freedom and allows politicians, bureaucrats and industrialists an upper-hand over its students and teachers in decision-making. The MHRD’s threats are condemnable and will continue to be resisted.”

On talking to DU Beat, Abha Dev Habib, a member of Delhi University Teachers’ Association said, “DUTA has been opposing signing of Tripartite MoU. The meeting of the Executive Council where it was placed was stalled. Tripartite MoU aims at restructuring higher education in terms of their funding. Central and State Universities are being arm twisted in signing this MoU, which requires universities to steadily increase student intake and fees. However, there is no commitment to provide grants for additional infrastructre or teaching- non teaching staff to cater to any such increase in number of students. This MoU is a way  of withdrawing public funding and pushing the burden of maintaining or expanding Central and State universities on parents and students.”

The University and the UGC need to come in a common agreement so as to safeguard the interests of the students.

Feature Image Credits: Niharika Dabral for DU Beat.


Shreya Agrawal

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A few prestigious institutions under the University of Delhi, namely, St. Stephen’s College, Hindu College, Ramjas College, Shri Ram College of Commerce and colleges run by theDelhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee, have expressed the desire of achieving a deemed university status. The proposals are at very initial stages, but if granted, these colleges will have the power to formulate their own rules and fee structures which will not adhere to the functioning of Delhi University.

The matter was raised in the governing body meeting of Hindu college, and it was declared that in later stages if a college wants a deemed university status, they must have an ‘A grade’ accreditation under NAAC for 3 consecutive years. A senior university official stated, “Few colleges like SRCC, Stephen’s, Ramjas, Hindu and the ones run by the Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee want deemed university status. The Union Human Resource Development Ministry has also formulated some norms for providing more autonomy to colleges but deemed status will give them complete freedom of functioning on their own”. It has been speculated that if this status is granted to any of these colleges, they will not be bound by any of the rules and regulations of Delhi University, and thus there will be no need to seek sanctions from the University for any decision. Despite of all these proposals, it has also been speculated that the Student Unions of these colleges might oppose this move because the college will then have a liberty of deciding their own fee structure, and thus there might be a price hike in the fee which would make affordability a great reason of concern for many students.

St. Stephen’s College has already been in a tussle with the University of Delhi for the past couple of years regarding an autonomous status. Attempts to reach out to the Student Union of the college for their comments were unsuccessful.


By Joyee Bhattacharya ([email protected])