DUTA wrote to the Deputy Chief Minister highlighting the inadequacy of the previous grant to cover employees’ salaries and pensions.

On 3rd April 2020, the Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) wrote to Shri Manish Sisodia, Minister of Education and Deputy Chief Minister, New Delhi regarding the inadequacy of the grant released by the government to 12 Delhi University colleges funded by the Delhi Government. The funds released on 30th March were said to be insufficient and many colleges were unable to pay the salaries and pensions of both teaching and non-teaching employees.

The Association had written to the Government on 26th March, requesting them to enquire into the insufficiency of funds after many colleges had alleged that the grant would only cover the salaries and other expenses for two months which had been due since January.  

Hem Chand Jain, acting principal of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College, told NewsClick, “Given the dues in form of arrears, property tax, salaries of teachers and non-teaching staff, we had expected an approximate grant of Rs 12-13 crore. But, with this amount we would be able to pay the salaries for January and February only. The salary of March which would be paid on April 1 cannot be covered in this amount. Additionally, we need to pay Rs 1.90 crore as Property Tax. Whether our electricity and water connections will continue or not in absence of payment, we do not know.”

He added, “Traditionally, we used to get grants in March for the salaries till June. How will we pay salaries till May or June? I hope the Delhi Government releases the required grant soon.” The sanction order, however, had awarded Rs 4.2 crore for salaries and Rs 40 lakh for other expenses to the college.

The reason for this crisis is said to be the tussle between the Delhi Government and the Delhi University administration regarding the appointment of governing bodies of the twelve colleges that are funded by the Delhi Government. The DU administration had rejected the names of the people that the Aam Aadmi Party Government in Delhi had suggested since they did not qualify the criteria that are in place to appoint members to the governing bodies. AAP, however, accuses the administration of creating roadblocks at the behest of the BJP Government in the Centre.

Delhi Government funds 28 colleges in all – 12 fully and 16 colleges partially. The 12 colleges are Indira Gandhi Institute of Physical Education & Sports Science, Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies, Shaheed Raj Guru College , Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College, Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar College, Acharya Narendra Dev College, Bhagini Nivedita College, Keshav Maha Vidyalaya, Maharaja Agrasen College, Aditi Mahavidyalaya, Mahirishi Balmiki College of Education and Bhaskara Charya College of Applied Science.

Sixteen colleges that are partially-funded by the Delhi Government are Shivaji College, Motilal Nehru College, Laxmi Bai College, Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, Maiteryi College, SPM College for Women, Satyawati College, Vivekanand College, Rajdhani College, Kamla Nehru College, Gargi College, Swami Shardhanand College, Kalindi College, Bharti College, Sri Aurbindo College and Delhi College of Arts and Commerce.

Image Credits: DU Beat Archives 

Khush Vardhan Dembla

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A delegation from DUTA (Delhi University Teachers’ Association), including the DUTA President Rajib Ray, met the Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, Manish Sisodia, to plead to the state government to roll back its order of freezing funds of the 28 University of Delhi colleges it funds. The teachers collectively requested the government because the colleges are finding it difficult to fund salaries for teaching and non-teaching staff in those colleges.

In a written appeal to the Delhi Government, they wrote, “We support your insistence that governing bodies must be fully constituted at the earliest. However, we have now learnt that the colleges are finding it difficult to release salaries to teaching and non-teaching staff. Any delay in the release of salaries will cause a crisis in the personal lives of the employees and their families.”
On 31st July, Manish Sisodia, the Delhi Minister of Education directed a freeze of grants for the 28 colleges it fully or partially funds. In a tweet, he claimed that it was a “deliberate and mala fide attempt to delay the 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 on procedural grounds. The stand-off has been since October last year when Delhi University was required to send a list of its governing bodies of all the colleges.

Image Credits: Indian Express

Vijeata Balani

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Now that the student union polls are over, the University administration has issued guidelines that grant more legitimacy to the posts that the newly elected student leaders have come to assume. The elected members of Student Unions from different colleges across the varsity will now be paid monthly salaries. The University administration has also fixed the minimum salary that each post-bearer will receive. Adhering to this amount or surpassing it depends upon the discretion of individual colleges.

According to university officials, this move has been undertaken after increasing complaints from student union members, about the magnitude of work and excessive burden that they have to bear. Mr. Aman Singh Grover, Secretary of the Student Unions Grievance Committee added, “We made this move consciously, so as to compensate for the class hours that the student leaders have to miss out on while performing their duties. Colleges that do not follow these guidelines will be penalised.”

Moreover, the University also mandates that various colleges have to allocate funds towards a stationery budget for the Student Union. This includes bearing the cost of all stationery material required by the Unions. Moreover, expenses such as phone bills, taxi fares, canteen bills, etc, incurred by the members while carrying out their duties, shall also be covered by this budget. The university has stated a minimum budget of Rs. 2500 to be allocated each month. However, this amount is to be raised during the fest season to Rs 5000.

Although it seems like a win-win prospect for the elected members, there is also a catch to this new guideline. If any complaints about the inefficacy of the student union are filed by the college students and deemed legitimate by the college authorities, they will have to pay a onetime fine of 5% to 40% of their salaries, depending upon the intensity of the complaint.

According to university officials, this move will act as an impetus for more students to volunteer in assuming leadership roles in their colleges. At the same time, it will also ensure that the elected leaders carry out their duties solemnly and do not flout their earlier promises.

However, colleges do not seem to be too pleased with this move. According to a disgruntled Principal whose name has been withheld in accordance to her request, “As of now, our college is running short of funds to even install water taps in some areas of the campus. If the University wants us to start handing out money to students for assuming roles that are essentially voluntary, they might as well allocate the funds themselves. This is a ludicrous proposal on their behalf.”

Now that both parties have spoken, what is your opinion?

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Swareena Gurung
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