UGC ‘stops’ DU’s funds over delay in signing grants pact
The Delhi University (DU) has not received any grant from the University Grants Commission (UGC) for the ongoing academic session as the varsity has not signed the tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) sent by the Union ministry of human resource development (MHRD), officials said.
The MoU —to be signed between the varsity, the MHRD and the UGC — was first sent to the DU and other educational institutions in October last year.
In the MoU, institutions were asked to state ways of internal fund generation such as “fee hike” and the amount they wish to take as loan for developmental works from the Higher Education Funds Agency (HEFA).
According to officials familiar with the matter, the DU administration has not received any fund from the UGC since July. “The funds are not coming ever since this session has begun. The MHRD had sent a reminder for the MoU in June,” an official said.
Officials at the MHRD and the UGC confirmed that the funds have not been released timely over MoU issue. Several central universities such as Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and Banaras Hindu University have already signed the MoU.
Despite several attempts, DU vice chancellor Yogesh Tyagi and registrar Tarun Das did not respond to requests to comment.
Meanwhile, a DU official said the delay was due to opposition from a large section of faculty who have been raising concerns over the move. The faculty members had been alleging it may ultimately lead to a “fee hike”.
“The MoU has to be signed after getting an approval from the university’s Executive Council (EC), the highest decision making body. However, majority of the EC members have been opposing it. The University has already set-up a committee to speed up the process. However, several committee members have opposed the proposal of applying for HEFA loan,” said the official.
The DU teachers have been opposing Centre’s proposal of replacing funds to educational institutions with loans through HEFA. “We have already told the administration that we are not going to pass the MoU until it assures us that funds will not get affected,” said AK Bhagi, an EC member and committee member.
“Once the MoU is signed, the central universities will apply for the loans from HEFA. It will also lead a raise in students’ fee every year and thus the higher education will become inaccessible to from poor sections,” said another EC member Rajesh Jha.