Teachers’ of Delhi govt fully funded colleges in DU observe hunger strike from home over “delay” in release of fundsUpdated: Apr 28, 2020 22:40 IST
Teachers from the 12 Delhi government colleges under the Delhi University (DU) on Tuesday observed a day-long hunger strike from their homes alleging that the government had not released funds for their salaries. The government has denied this charge.
Extending solidarity with the faculty members, teachers from other colleges too joined the hunger strike.
Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) president Rajib Ray said that nine out of these 12 colleges used students’ funds and other savings to pay salaries to their staffs’ salaries for the last month.
“Some of these colleges broke their Fixed Deposits (FDs) to pay the salaries. But at least three colleges -- BR Ambedkar College, Keshav Mahavidyalaya and Shaheed Rajguru College of Applied Sciences -- have not been able to pay for March because they don’t have enough funds,” he said.
DUTA had written to the Delhi government last week over the issue. “The colleges who have managed to pay last month’s salary won’t be able to pay for April if the government doesn’t release the funds immediately,” he added.
Officials in Maharaja Agarsain College said, “Our requirement is ₹13 crore (for the quarter January-March). But the government had issued only ₹6 crore.”
When contacted, Delhi education minister Manish Sisodia said, “No salary funds are pending for March. All were paid. For April, the payments would be made on time.”
Ray said that the amount released by the government was insufficient to pay the salaries for March.
An official at the Keshav Mahavidyalaya College said, “Our file for the sanction of funds was referred back to us seeking details of joining dates of teaching and non-teaching staff.”
Subodh Kumar, president of Maharaja Agarsain College Teachers’ association, said, “Because of the lockdown, we decided to protest from our homes. The hunger strike began at 9am. All the teachers shared videos and photos on social networking sites and WhatsApp groups,” he said.
At around 4pm, the protesting teachers connected through a video conferencing and sung songs of protest. “Many of our colleagues have loans to pay. Some have major health issues. The teachers are constantly working amid the lockdown. We are taking online classes, preparing e-notes and assignments. Despite the lockdown, it’s like normal working days for us,” Kumar said.
The Delhi government had been at the loggerheads with the DU adminstration over the issue of governing bodies (GB), which are yet to be formed in its partially and fully-funded colleges. The government had earlier said that it will not release funds to colleges without governing bodies.
Rajesh Jha, member of the DU’s Executive Council, said that the Council had approved the names of GB members sent by the Delhi government. “It’s been more than one and half months but the University administration has not yet sent these names to the colleges yet for the formation of governing bodies. That’s why there is a delay in the formation,” he said.
A senior University official, requesting anonymity, said, “Due to the lockdown the University could not complete the procedure of GB formation.”