The Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) Saturday decided to continue its “university shutdown”, alleging that the funds released by the Delhi government for 12 DU colleges were insufficient. The (DUTA) Extended Executive also alleged that the 12 Delhi government-funded colleges of Delhi University are being forced to adopt a new document titled “Pattern of Assistance” in their governing bodies, through which the government is trying to find ways to “disaffiliate them from the Delhi University”.
The executive body headed by Rajib Ray said in a meeting that they will continue the DU shutdown as the grants of Rs 82.79 crore under salary head and Rs 9.50 crore under other salaries head released on Friday will only meet requirements for payment of salaries up to January. “The provisions of this ‘Pattern of Assistance’ are designed to redefine association of these 12 colleges with Delhi University and divest Delhi government of its funding responsibility by coercing them to gradually become self-sufficient and self-sustaining,” Ray said in a statement.
The colleges, which were earlier referred to as “100% funded Delhi Govt. maintained colleges of DU”, are now addressed in the document as ‘100% funded Delhi Govt. sponsored college affiliated to University of Delhi’. The change in the manner of referencing clearly strengthens the apprehension that the Delhi Govt. – earlier tasked with maintaining these educational institutions, is now redefining itself as the sponsor of edu-business units – to find ways of disaffiliating them from Delhi University,” Ray, the president of DUTA, said.
He added that the change in the nomenclature should be seen in the light of the plea of the Delhi government to the Centre to amend the DU Act in consonance with the National Education Policy 2020. As per the documents, funds will be “equitably distributed among public HEIs on the basis of their plans and that further funding will depend on their plans and progress”. “Clause 4(x) (of the document) links grants to ‘annual achievement-cum-performance report’,” Ray said.
He added that the clauses 3(ii), 3 (iii) and 17 should be read together as “a move away from full funding to a gradually reducing adequate funding”. “(Clause 3-ii). The provisioning of the budget for grants needs to be made on net deficit basis (i.e., total revenue from all sources – total expenses). 3(iii). The College shall evolve suitable mechanism to maximise generation of internal resources so as to attain self-sufficiency / self-sustainability over a period of time. 17. The Grantee College shall create alternative sources of income in the medium and long term. Release of grants to it shall be linked to generation of income from other sources like consultancy etc,” the statement read.
To further “arm-twist colleges” into generating revenue, the document seeks to put in place procedures that will make it difficult for colleges to actually spend the money received by way of grants, it added. The DUTA demanded the Delhi government to withdraw the new guidelines to “maintain the public character of the 12 institutions which have evolved to become reputed institutions under Delhi University providing quality education”.