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Thursday, Oct 17, 2019

DU colleges struggle to pay salaries in absence of Delhi govt funds

cities Updated: Sep 27, 2019 21:16 IST

New Delhi Five months after the Delhi government stopped funds to 28 Delhi University (DU) colleges over non-formation of governing bodies (GB), colleges are struggling to pay the staff salaries and handle day-to-day expenses.

The GBs, comprising members nominated by the university and the Delhi government, take all decisions for the smooth functioning of a college, including the appointment of teaching and non-teaching staff.

“Due to uncertainty over salary, there is an obvious dissatisfaction among teachers and that disrupts classes as well. For instance, teachers went to protest today and so, there was no class. In a semester system, studies get affected even if classes are not held for five days,” said Hem Chand Jain, officiating principal of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College — one of the 12 colleges fully funded by the Delhi government. The rest is partially funded by the Delhi government.

In a protest organised by DU Teachers’ Association (DUTA), outside Vidhan Sabha on Friday, staff members said that “uncertainty in getting salaries has led to crisis” in these 12 colleges. “The worst-hit are the teaching and non-teaching staff working on ad hoc or contract basis,” DUTA said in a statement.

Jain said his college does not have sufficient funds to pay the teachers for September. “Salaries of teaching and non-teaching staff come to around ₹3 crore. Where can I get this money? The staff has been cooperative so far, but we are all worried,” he said.

Maharaja Agrasen College, another college fully funded by the Delhi government, is also hard-pressed for funds. Principal Sunil Sondhi said, “So far, we have been managing by taking money from the funds earmarked for student activities. This money is raised from the students’ fee, but it does not get completely used every year. So, we temporarily took money from it to pay the salaries.”

An official in the Delhi government said that DU is insisting on not forming GBs in these colleges. “It is clear that there is an attempt to shield colleges from accountability and intent to continue corruption,” the official said.

The vice-chancellor and registrar did not respond to requests for comment.

Dhananjoy Shaw, principal of Indira Gandhi Institute of Physical Education and Sports Sciences (IGIPESS), said the fund crunch has affected student activities as well. “We haven’t been able to pay salaries to our staff for two months. Since some student activities were planned before, we execute it at the lowest possible costs,” he said, adding that managing day-to-day expenses will be difficult from October.

Across DU colleges, the tenure of governing bodies expired on March 8.

First Published: Sep 27, 2019 21:16 IST

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