DU takes ‘strong exception’ to graft allegations, govt stands its groundUpdated: Aug 15, 2020 23:10 IST
The Delhi government on Saturday reiterated its stand that it had received from parents and students complaints of financial irregularities in 12 Delhi University (DU) colleges funded by the state.
The government’s remark, the second time in over a week, came a day after DU’s Dean of Colleges Balaram Pani said in a statement late Friday night said the university had taken “strong exception” to allegations of graft levelled against the 12 colleges.
Last week, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, who also holds the education portfolio, said the “inability of the Delhi government-funded DU colleges to pay salaries to staff despite a 70% increase in budget allocation in the last five years indicated corruption”. He said around 23% of the funds allocated for 2020-21 had been released.
Reiterating the charges, the government said on Saturday, “Why has DU not paid staff salaries for the last three months is a matter that raises doubts… the people of Delhi have the right to know where the money released by the Delhi government went.”
The government said it had ordered a financial audit of seven government-funded colleges, of which six are fully aided while one gets partial funds. “For a long time, many parents and students of these colleges have been complaining about financial irregularities,” the government said in the statement. “If Delhi University feels that there is no financial mess, then there is no need to fear; the truth will come out in the audit.”
On Friday, Pani said that annually, three types of annual audits are conducted—an internal audit (by auditors from an approved DU panel), an ELFA audit (by Delhi government) and an AGCR audit (by CAG) -- in each college and all reports so far reflect that the financial affairs had been managed according to existing norms.
Pani said there had been an 80-100% increase in salary expenses over the past five years due to many factors, including an increase in the pay of contractual non-teaching staff and ad hoc faculty, implementing the seventh pay commission and EWS quota, annual increments, increase in dearness allowance as well the addition of new courses.
The university also said that inflation, and an increase in water, electricity, sanitation and security bills of four colleges that shifted to new campuses had led to a 300-500% increase in non-salary expenditure.
“The governing bodies of all 12 colleges have been formed as per DU rules and regulations. According to DU rules, there is no link between the formation of governing bodies and the release of grant-in-aid,” Pani said, appealing to the government to release funds and “end the suffering of the staff of these colleges.”
Last week, HT had reported that while some of the 12 colleges had paid salaries to their teaching staff for May by diverting funds from other accounts, a majority of them were yet to be paid for the last three months.
The DU administration and Delhi government have been at loggerheads over the formation of governing bodies in government-funded colleges for over a year now. The 10-member governing bodies comprise people nominated by both the university and the government and take decisions such as the appointment of staff members.
On March 13 this year, DU’s executive council recommended sending the names of six Delhi government nominees back to the state government for reconsideration. A week later, the government said these six names were to remain on the list. On May 13, the university forwarded a list of nominees to colleges, except for the six names in contention.