– Jonathan Daniel Luther and Sushant Mishra
Blue Lightning bolts and Thunder claps have been sighted! Inside Dyal Singh Collegeâ€™s Principalâ€™s office…like mighty Zeus the Teacherâ€™s Association (TA) has retaliated with regards to certain financial sums amounting to approx. 1.7 Crores. DUB brings you the controversy over this money as noted by the Principal, the teachers and its impact of the students. The 1.7 Crores is â€˜Public Moneyâ€™ as per N. Sachin president of the TA. This money is part of the Statutory Provident Fund that was kept in savings accounts over the allowed period. The TA is demanding this plus an 11% PF. This claim has been shot down by the principal saying â€˜as per government lawsâ€™ this is to be maintained at 8%.
The Principalâ€™s Take:
The 2006 Provident Fund committee meeting had taken place which comprised of the Bursar, 2 representatives of the subscriber i.e. Teaching and Non Teaching, College Governing body Treasurer, the Principal. In this committee it was decided to pay 8%, as per strict central government directives for 2006-07, which must not exceed stipulated amounts. This PF was invested and it generated a surplus, with regards to which the TA demanded an increment of 2% that later changed to 3%. These demands if not met by 29th Janâ€™08, would compel the TA to go on strike on the succeeding day. The principal in turn sent an immediate notification to the Registrar DU, explaining the circumstances and stating the TAâ€™s claims and asking for advice.
The result of which is that they can not deviate from the prescribed norms which is followed by almost all the colleges in DU. He said that he is helpless to take any action in this matter as even the Vice Chancellor is not in a position to change the central government ruling with regards to PF. However, the principal says as per â€˜logicâ€™ they should get more after all â€œpaisa kisse nahi aacha lagta haiâ€?. But according to â€˜lawâ€™ nothing can be done as for now. Higher authorities are still procrastinating on a definite resolution leaving the issue in a considerable conundrum. His only wish is that teaching resumes at its regular pace in this crucial final semester.
The Teacherâ€™s Association: (N. Sachin)
â€œThere is no relevant rule under the Income Tax Act of India that says that there is an upper capâ€?. He says that the documents shown by the Principal are â€˜inconclusiveâ€™. Thus the Teachers demand that the PF, which is their hard earned money, should be released. The teachers have been negotiating for the past four months and they have been forced into a strike due to the stubbornness of the principal. In the 2006 provident fund meeting 3 people out of 5 had ruled in favour of the 11% proposal while the Principal was adamant at 8%.
Apart from the PF â€˜he has been mishandling the college affairs and not constituted the Staff council for the last six monthsâ€™ and is â€˜doing favouritism, victimising teachers, he is denying their leave, sending people after teachers on one pretext or the otherâ€™. The TA demands to see the relevant Tax Act or PF rule, which states an upper cap, if such evidence is provided they are more than willing to retract their demands and stick to 8%.
The President says that â€œhe (the principal) is in a position of power and he wants to run the college like a dictatorâ€? and is writing letters that serve â€˜imaginaryâ€™ purposes to authorities who are not even relevant to this issue. â€œHis PF is not there in the college he has taking 9.7% and 10.4% in the preceding yearsâ€?. The TA is only fighting for their financial rights. The principal is â€˜bureaucratisingâ€™ the issue, â€˜delaying it so that the blame falls on the teachers and he appears as the â€œSaviourâ€? in the college. The TA wants to engage the Principal in a legal confrontation over the issue.
The Studentsâ€™ Take:
As quoted by Kriti (name changed) â€œAlong with the 2 major strikes that have already taken place in this academic year this is another hindrance added to the political hash pot Dyal Singh seems to be. It is ultimately the students who are the real sufferers as scheduled classes have not been taking placeâ€?. Thus as a result their classes are either relegated to IHC or the â€˜distractingâ€™ Lodhi garden.
The Strike has been partially lifted by the teachers to facilitate classes and hurry up with the courses. The Principal is still sitting mum. Decision to go to court is still pending. With these deplorable straits Dyal Singh College is in a quagmire.