The Delhi government’s Department of Higher Education has asked DU Vice-Chancellor to take action against the principals of 12 Delhi government-funded colleges. The accusation is of “inciting teachers” and “creating a hostile education environment” over funding issues. The principals, however, said they are facing financial issues. Additionally, the budget estimates have been reduced to approximately 75% to that of last year’s.
12 DU colleges are fully funded by the Delhi government. The tussles between them and the government over the release of grants has been a long-standing issue now.
In a letter dated November 3 to V-C Yogesh Singh, the government’s Higher Education Director Ranjana Deswal said the principals have been “inciting teachers” instead of “managing the accounts properly”.
“Instead of providing UCs (Utilisation Certificates) on time, adhering to the conditions of the pattern of assistance, managing the accounts properly, evolving mechanisms for the generation of internal resources, the principals have been inciting teachers and staff. Their utterances are creating a hostile educational environment. The principals in their leadership role have been leading adverse critical and embarrassing chants,” the letter said.
The letter goes on to ask that disciplinary action be taken against the principals for violation of Central Civil Service (Conduct) Rules.
Following this, the University’s Assistant Registrar (Colleges) has asked the principals to provide all communications made with the Director of Higher Education and other related officials.
Are Delhi University principals ‘inciting’ the college staff?
Atishi, Chairperson, Standing Committee on Education (Delhi Vidhan Sabha), said: “As per terms and conditions of the grant, college principals must submit Utilisation Certificates to get funds. However, the colleges delay this process every quarter. On one hand, the colleges do not fulfil the basic process. And on the other, they turn around and say the Delhi government is not giving funds. It is concerning that the principals while being party to the delay on the end of the colleges, incite teachers by spreading lies about the Delhi government not releasing funds.”
What do the DU college officials have to say?
Principals of DU colleges said they have written to the government over the reduction in their budget allocations for this year.
“In this year, we have written 10-15 times to the government over our grant requirements. We expressed our inability to pay staff salaries. Last year, funds of around Rs 42 crore were released for my college. And this year, they have given us a budget estimate of Rs 30 crore. Out of 30 crores, we have received three instalments till now. In fact, our budget requirement for this year has increased to Rs 55 crore. The reason is that the Government of India has increased the DA (Dearness Allowance) rate and HRA (House Rent Allowance).” said Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College Principal Hem Chand Jain.
Further, he added, “Also, around 80 teachers and 24 non-teaching staff were promoted in the university’s promotion drive. With the three instalments, I can only pay teachers up to their September salaries. But however, they’re supposed to cover till December. If teachers agitate about this, what can the principals do?”
Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies Principal Poonam Verma spoke on the matter. She said that the budget estimates have been reduced to about 75% to that of last year. “We are not able to pay our teachers’ promotion arrears. We have been writing to the Delhi government, but I do not know what has irked them. There must have been some communication problem. We have not done anything to incite teachers. And teachers are conscious of their responsibilities,” she said.