Delhi University makes fresh push for central loans
The Delhi University’s (DU) finance committee has approved a proposal that allows the varsity to apply for loans from the Higher Education Funds Agency (HEFA) to public institutes for any infrastructure and re-developmental workUpdated: Dec 10, 2018 15:30 IST
The Delhi University’s (DU) finance committee has approved a proposal that allows the varsity to apply for loans from the Higher Education Funds Agency (HEFA) — a body set up by the Centre to offer 10-year loans to public institutes for any infrastructure and re-developmental work. The nod for the proposal was given amid opposition by a section of committee members.
The proposal will now be sent for the approval of university’s executive council’s (EC) – top decision making body. The executive council had in September this year refused to sign a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on grants, of which proposal to apply for HEFA loans was a part. The Union government had later threatned to ‘withold’ its funds if the university didn’t sign the MoU.
The University’s administration has been at the loggerheads with its teachers association (DUTA) and members of its executive and academic councils ever since the human resource development (MHRD) had sent the tripartite MoU to all Central universities, including the DU, in October last year.
Faculty members have been protesting the proposal of replacing funds to educational institutions with loans through HEFA alleging that the move will ‘privatise’ the university and will lead to a ‘fee hike’.
According to some finance committee members, the proposal was introduced as a ‘reporting item’ — which means that the item is not to be discussed — during a meeting held on Thursday. “The matter was nowhere listed on the agenda for the meeting. It was suddenly raised as a reporting item by the administration’s representatives. The reporting items are directly sent to the executive council at the finance committee’s recommendations,” said Rajpal Singh, a finance committee member.
In the MoU—to be signed by the educational institutions with the Union ministry of human resources and the University Grants Commission (UGC) — universities have to mention the amount they wish to take as loan from the HEFA.
Several central universities such as Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and Jamia Millia Islamia have already signed the MoU.
Another finance member, VK Agarwal, said that Thursday’s meeting was attended by two MHRD representatives. “The MHRD representatives said that there are misunderstandings among DU faculty members about the HEFA loan. They said that the university will receive 90 % of its resources as funds and it will have to apply for loan only for the remaining 10%. However, the ratio was mentioned as 70:30 in the initial HEFA proposal,” he said.
DU vice chancellor Yogesh Tyagi and registrar Tarun Das did not respond to requests to comment.
Meanwhile, Rajesh Jha, an EC member said, “By pushing HEFA in the agenda of finance committee, the university administration has tried to shun debates with the stakeholders. HEFA will lead to steep fee hike as the loan from it has to be paid by the internal resources of the university.”
First Published: Dec 10, 2018 15:30 IST