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On Thursday, April 13, 2023, 12 colleges of Delhi University, which come under the purview of the Delhi government, received their much-awaited first quarter of funding, i.e., Rs. 100 crores, from the state.

The Delhi government has released Rs 100 crores of funds in the first quarter for its fully-funded 12 colleges under Delhi University on April 13, 2023. This includes colleges such as Acharya Narendra Dev College, Aditi Mahavidyalaya, Bhagini Nivedita College, Bhaskaracharya College, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College, Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar College, Indira Gandhi Institute of Physical Education and Sports Sciences, Keshav Mahavidyalaya, Maharaja Agrasen College, Maharshi Valmiki College of Education, Shaheed Rajguru College, and Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies.

In addition to these 12 DU colleges, universities such as the Delhi Technological University (DTU), the Netaji Subhash University of Technology (NSUT), etc. also come under the Delhi state government and depend on funds from it. Delhi Education Minister Atishi Marlena said that the government’s commitment to education is evident by the 300 percent plus increase in the budget allocated to these colleges since the Kejriwal government came to power in the state.

“In the financial year 2023–24, an amount of Rs 400 crore has been allocated by the government. Out of this, the first quarter of Rs 100 crore is being released today.” —Atishi Marlena, Delhi Education Minister

There has been an upward trend in funding for the Education Department during Assembly budgets through the years. The COVID-19 years saw an allocation of Rs. 265 crores for 2020–21 and Rs. 308 crores for 2021–22 to these colleges. In the era of post-pandemic recovery and the implementation of NEP 2020, the budgetary allocation for the above-mentioned 12 colleges has increased.

However, many question the impact of this on-paper allocation of money, as asserted by the government, due to the non-release of funds. There also exists a disparity between the 12 colleges, as Deen Dayal Upadhyay College faced a 10-day power disruption due to non-payment of electric bills. Meanwhile, a student at Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies has this to say:

“I am not very sure about the budgetary allocation of our college, but the infrastructure here is amazing, with spacious classrooms and corridors, and a beautiful auditorium.” —student at Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies

Issues between the government and colleges persist as teachers and non-teaching staff accuse the government of delaying salaries and crumbling infrastructure. A Delhi BJP spokesperson, Praveen Shankar Kapoor, has accused the Delhi government of delays in salary payments to teaching and non-teaching staff of these 12 colleges during the past 5 years. He has asked the Delhi Education Minister to respond to these allegations.

Read also: DU Employees Suffer as the Delhi Government Fails to Pay Salaries

Featured Image Credits: The Indian Express

Bhavya Nayak
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Amid global lockdown due to coronavirus, India is grappling with certain additional issues such as feeding the poor and an upcoming water crisis.

On 25th March, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation for the second time concerning the novel coronavirus. He mentioned that to win the battle against this foreign virus, India would go into an unprecedented 21-day lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19 starting from 25th March till 15th April.

As a result of the lockdown, many citizens grew apprehensive about arranging food for such a long period without receiving wages. The workers depending on daily wages and those who work in the private sector continue to struggle without livelihoods. To tackle this issue, India announced that $22.6 billion will be set aside to ensure that no citizen goes to sleep with an empty stomach.

Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Minister, Delhi also announced that the Government has tied up with many NGOs, religious institutions, and private companies to implement the free meal scheme that includes providing meals to 2 lakh people. The free food distribution system will be scaled up to feed around 4 lakh people in the national capital. Around 234 night shelters in the city are catering to those who need meals. Lunch and dinner are also being served at 325 government schools.

Seher, a student of Hansraj College opined: “The government may be doing its best, but I’m doubtful whether the food will be easily accessible to everyone. The people living in remote areas may not be able to travel back and forth to obtain food on a daily basis.”

As the country witnesses a spike in the number of cases, thousands of migrant workers working in Delhi NCR wish to return to their villages despite the lockdown. A large number of people huddled close together while disregarding precautionary measures such as social distancing. Many daily wage workers claimed that before being affected by the coronavirus, starvation and mere survival is their biggest concern. Delhi Health Minister also provided reassurance to the citizens that the Government was making arrangements to feed the needy and leaving the city was needless.

Many NGOs have come forth to help the needy. Delhi Government is aiming to double the supply of ration, but it may not be enough to help everyone because night shelters opened by the government and the rations may not be accessible to many citizens. In addition to this, travelling amid the lockdown is not feasible.

 

Feature image credits- DNA India

Suhani Malhotra

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Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) representatives were able to get the Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, Manish Sisodia to release the funds of 28 University of Delhi (DU) colleges funded by the Delhi Government on Saturday. This order comes two days before the protest planned by DUTA.

The Delhi Government has agreed to release grants to 28 DU colleges funded by it, despite them not having their governing bodies. In a letter to the Education Secretary, Sisodia had blamed the University for stalling the functioning of the colleges as it did not extend their tenure as directed. Due to this, the Government and the University were in conflict and all of these 28 colleges were denied funding.

The letter had stated, “The University delayed sending the University panel. Even when the names were sent, only 180 names were given, even though, as per the precedent, more than 250 names are to be sent. It is this reason that forced the Government of NCT of Delhi to stop the funds of these colleges.”

The official notice stated that the Delhi government-funded colleges’ functioning was stalled due to the funds being stopped to these colleges resulting in various problems and hardships faced by the teachers. The notice also directed the DHE to release the three-month grants to these colleges. It also stated that the flow of funds shall be resumed as soon as the governing bodies are formed.

The funds were sanctioned by the Deputy Chief Minister to all the colleges for three months, on grounds that the teachers should not face any hardships. This resulted in DUTA calling off the strike. Rajib Ray, President, DUTA, confirmed the same and added that they would now take up the various issues such as sanction of new courses, resolution of new posts as per the Economically Weaker Section (EWS), grants for partially-funded DU colleges, arrears following the seventh pay commission, etc., with the government.

The statement issued by DUTA also notes, “The DUTA will seek an immediate meeting with the Deputy Chief Minister to pursue the formation of governing bodies, ensuring 5% contributions towards partially funded DU colleges and grants for infrastructure creation and sanction of teaching and non-teaching posts towards EWS expansion in the 12 fully funded colleges.”

Governing bodies are responsible for the smooth functioning of the colleges and are known to take the important decision regarding issues like appointment of teaching and non-teaching staff. However, their tenure expired and the colleges were expected to appoint new governing bodies, failure of which led to the Government to hold off the funds.

 

Feature Image Credits: NDTV

Antriksha Pathania
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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

Shreya Agrawal

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In a recent development, the University of Delhi (DU) Executive Council has approved the Delhi government’s list of nominees for the college Governing Bodies (GB) of 28 colleges.

The approval of Delhi government’s list by the Executive Council (EC) was made official by a statement issued by Professor Tarun Kumar Das, Registrar of DU, after the Executive Council held its meeting on the 7th and 8th of March.

Significantly, on July 2017, the Delhi government had ordered a freeze on grants for DU Colleges that are either fully or partially funded by it. The reason given for this was the perceptible failure of the varsity to appoint governing bodies in the given time.

The meeting witnessed comprehensive discussion on names sent by the government. Following this, the EC approved the government’s list of nominees for the college governing bodies, with a few exceptions. According to an EC member, 280 names for the GB were approved, which includes 140 names sent by the government. However, four names from the government list were withheld.

Further, with regard to some of the nominees, the EC has requested the Delhi government to present details such as educational qualification. The composition of governing bodies must include 15 members and one non-teaching staff member. Out of the total, five are to be nominated by the Delhi Government and five nominees come under the mandate of the University.

Responding to queries from DU Beat, Rajib Ray, President of Delhi University Teacher’s Association (DUTA), remarked on this development, “For this, the varsity is to be blamed. The decision to constitute governing bodies should have been taken over a year back. The only reason why the Delhi government can be blamed is that they have threatened to block the funds.”

Surendra Kumar, Executive Member of DUTA, who is currently holding an indefinite hunger strike in front of the Faculty of Arts against the newly proposed University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines, made a critical observation and said, “Even during the previous governments, whether it was the BJP or Congress, there have been differences of opinion between the Chief Minister and the Vice Chancellor. But I cannot recall a single incident wherein fund-cuts were advised by the government.”

During a conversation with DU Beat, he further discerned on the administrative lapse involving this issue by stating, “The crisis of governing bodies is an administrative crisis between the Delhi government and the varsity. Why should a teacher of DU suffer because of this?”

On this development’s impact on the DUTA’s ongoing struggle for fairer salary terms for professors, Rajib Ray commented optimistically, “With this, I hope the crisis of blocked grants would end, thereby providing some respite to the striking teachers.”

 

Feature Image Credits:  Deposit Photos

Vaibhavi Sharma Pathak

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The professors of the 12 DU colleges have been caught in the crossfire between the university and the government.  Professors claim that they do not have money to pay off their regular bills. These professors had to greet the New Year with empty pockets. 

An ongoing row between the University of Delhi and Delhi Government has resulted in the freezing of funds for 12 DU colleges. This has not been a ‘happy’ new year for some teachers of the DU. Around 12 colleges including Sukhdev College of Business Studies, Shaheed Rajguru College, Maharaja Agrasen College, and Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College, which get 100% funding from the Delhi government have no resources left to pay their staff, after the government stopped the funds in July over a tussle on the names for governing body with the university administration.

S.K. Garg, the Principal of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College, which is fully funded by the Delhi Government, told India Today, “We are neither in a position to pay salary to our staff nor do we have funds for paying electricity, water, and telephone bills. Financially, everything is held up, as we have not paid our outsourced security staff and sanitation staff,” He also informed that college had to divert funds to ensure the basic functioning of the college.

The President of DUTA, Mr. Rajib Ray, told DU Beat that he has written to the Vice Chancellor and the Delhi Government regarding the tussle. “It is very unfortunate that the professors are suffering due to the non-payment of the salaries,” told Ray to DU Beat.

The Principals are particularly concerned about the salaries of the non-teaching staff because their everyday needs may be affected due to this delay.  Aware of the crisis, a senior official of Delhi Government’s education department, told Mail Today on condition of anonymity, “Delhi government will release the salary as soon as the names of panel members of governing body are submitted to us by the university,”

 

 Feature Image Credits: India Today

Sandeep Samal

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Several colleges of University of Delhi have alleged that they have not been receiving adequate funds from the Delhi Government for years. Here is a quick rundown of events that have lead to this never ending tiff between the university and the state government.

The Delhi Government is a part benefactor to some colleges which come under the University of Delhi. Out of the 28 colleges under DU, the Delhi Government fully funds twelve colleges and partially funds the remaining sixteen. According to some sources, the Delhi Government gives about 360 crores annually to the 28 colleges.

On 31st July, Manish Sisodia directed the Finance Department to stop the funds to 28 colleges of DU; over what he termed was “mala fide to delay the formation of governing bodies” which had been pending since October 2016. The purpose of these governing bodies was to facilitate and keep the check on the funds provided to DU by the government of Delhi and to ensure accountability. In a last minute save, the university sent a list of names for the governing bodies. However, that list was rejected by the Delhi Government on 14th August on procedural grounds.

In a letter to DU’s vice-chancellor Yogesh Tyagi, Manish Sisodia articulated “unhappiness” over “under-hand politics” in the formation of the governing bodies, which he alleged was the cause for lack in the operation of these colleges.
To contribute to the contention, multiple colleges of DU have alleged that the government has not released the allocated funds on time required for development. To add to these allegations, they also brought to notice that the government often released less than what they necessitate as a part of their budget which affects the functioning.

Principal of Kalindi College told Times of India that the college has not received adequate funds for the past three years. Dr. Anulya Maurya enumerated that the budget is made on the funds they assume they will receive; however they have not received proper funds from the government. The administration also commented saying that the problem lies in the formula upon which the funds are calculated. The government only accounts for 1000 students per college, however, in reality; the population is of about 3000-4500. This back and forth disputation between the two has affected the day to day functioning of the colleges that are aided by the government.

Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College, Maharaja Agrasen College, Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies and nine others receive direct funding from the government. Whereas colleges like Kamala Nehru College, Delhi College of Arts and Commerce, Shivaji College, Gargi College and fourteen others come under the partially-funded category.

 

Image credits: Aapka Times

Bhavya Banerjee
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It seems that the University of Delhi’s feud with the Delhi government is here to stay for a while longer, albeit more serious than before. The Delhi Government has ordered to continue with the decision to freeze funds for the 28 colleges it funded either partially or fully, till the time governing body is not appointed by the Varsity.

 

Furthermore, the government has asked Delhi University not to conduct recruitments for ad hoc or permanent teachers, or make any severe changes in the administration staff until this issue is resolved. This to-and-fro of documents has been going on since October last year, but has gained momentum only recently. On 31st July, Manish Sisodia, the Delhi Minister of Education directed a stop to funds inflow for the 28 colleges it funds, and in a tweet he claimed that it was a “deliberate and malafide attempt to delay formation of governing bodies by DU”. On 14th August, the list of governing bodies was finally sent by DU, but was rejected by the government citing procedural grounds.

 

The governing body of a college comprises of five members from the university panel, five members from the government, two university representatives, two representatives of the college faculty and the college principal. The Varsity recommended just 5 candidates for governing body to the government, whereas it was supposed to send a pool of names out of which the government had the liberty to select any five. Since the options weren’t provided for the same, the government has given DU stern warnings to not “infringe upon its rights” of nominating members. At this stage, the government reportedly wants DU to accept the nominations cleared by them and has sent the university a fresh list.

 

Since February 2017, the list concerning these recommendations has been tweaked with minor changes, edited because of change in format and rejected on procedural grounds. If the government plans to pursue its impromptu decision to halt funds, the 28 colleges that it funds will soon sway in an array of confusion and chaos.

 

Feature Image Credits: Manish Sisodia’s Twitter Handle

Vijeata Balani

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On 31st July, Manish Sisodia directed the Finance Department to stop the funds to 28 colleges of University of Delhi, over what he termed was “mala fide to delay the formation of governing bodies” which had been pending since October 2016. The purpose of these governing bodies was to facilitate and keep the check on the funds provided to Delhi University by the government of Delhi and to ensure accountability.  There are twelve fully-funded colleges, while sixteen others recieve 5% funding from the government. This landmark decision could directly affect colleges like Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College, Maharaja Agrasen College, Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies and nine others as they recieve direct funding from the government. Whereas colleges like Kamala Nehru College, Delhi College of Arts and Commerce, Shivaji College, Gargi College and fourteen others come under the partially-funded category.

In a last minute save, Delhi university (DU) sent a list of names for the governing bodies. However, that list was rejected by the Delhi government on 14th August on procedural grounds. A government official told Hindustan Times “DU has sent a list of five members for appointment of as governing council members.” Whereas the university had to send numerous names from which the government of Delhi chooses five, as the government warrants the members of the council, not Delhi University.

The contention between the government and university seems to persist because the state government has now nominated five members, that according to sources, includes names of those from diverse feilds to uphold balance in representation. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) led government has asked DU to “duly constitute” the governing bodies which will include the five members included in the list sent to DU by the government before appointing any teachers or making severe administrative changes.

Image Credits: DUB Archives

Bhavya Banerjee

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DU has finally sent in a list of the governing bodies of its colleges. Here’s a quick run-down of events that lead up to Delhi government’s massive decision to freeze funds for the 28 colleges it funded. 

 

In what can be called a last minute miraculous save, the University of Delhi has finally sent a list of names for governing bodies of the 28 Delhi University colleges to the Delhi government. This is in response to the Delhi government’s repeated reminders and an ultimate threat to withdraw support for the 28 colleges it funds. On 31st July, Manish Sisodia announced a landmark decision to freeze funds since the respective colleges had failed to form governing bodies in time.

Devesh Sinha, the Dean of Colleges confirmed that DU had sent the list of the reviewed panel, and said, “A few changes were made to the list and it was sent to the Directorate of Education”. He also mentioned that the Executive Council has tried to maintain a diversity of occupations and included at least 2 female candidates. When he was questioned by Indian Express about the delay in the formation of the governing bodies 2 weeks back, he had said, “Since our Vice Chancellor and other top officials are involved in the Law Faculty interviews, there has been some delay in the process.”

The Directorate of Education is yet to verify if it received any list concerning this.

In what has been a to-and-fro of documents since long, the saga has been ongoing since October last year. The term for the last governing bodies ended in October 2016. According to a picture tweeted by Sisodia detailing the sequence of events, repeated reminders were sent to Delhi University by the Director of Higher Education, Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi(GNCTD).

In February this year, a panel of names was sent to GNCTD. The government then sent its recommended panel to Delhi University for approval. Since then, the list has been hanging, either due to a change required in the format or the list not being approved by the Executive Council of DU. Finally, the list was passed albeit after tweaking minor changes, to include recommendations from diverse backgrounds and evenly divide. The governing body of a college comprises of five members from the university panel, five members from the government, two university representatives, two representatives of the college faculty and the college principal. An ideal governing body consists of a wide range of members to ensure a healthy mix of lawyers, educationists, journalists etc.

Delhi government’s decision to hold on to funds had sparked a huge furor among both, students and teachers. Members of ABVP challenged the move and burnt an effigy of Sisidoa on 31st July near the Faculty of Arts, North Campus. The National Democratic Teachers’ Federation, too, protested against the government’s decisions citing financial reasons. According to sources, 360 crore is annually allotted to those 28 colleges. With the list finally sent, it remains a dubious question if the decision to freeze funds would be pulled back.

 

Image credits- Financial Express

 

Vijeata Balani

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