Delhi University teachers have given a call for a series of protests starting April 5 over the non-payment of salaries of teaching and non-teaching staff in Delhi-government funded colleges.
The protests have been called by the Delhi University Teacher’s Association (DUTA) which has been raising the issue of delay in grants to 12 Delhi government-funded colleges since October 2019. DUTA will hold two awareness programmes in Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy CM Manish Sisodia’s constituency on April 5 and April 9, respectively. They will also be holding a rally to the Ministry of Education on April 7.
DU teachers had announced an indefinite ‘university shutdown’ on March 11 but rejoined classes from April 1 urging the University to take immediate steps.
“DUTA will resume strike from April 12 in case the University fails to take concrete steps to safeguard interests of employees and colleges,” said Dr Rajib Ray, President of DUTA.
The Delhi government had released Rs 90 crore on March 12 and an additional Rs 28 crore on March 16. However, DUTA says it’s still awaiting the additional funds.
The teachers’ body has also alleged that the Delhi government has given the charge of the 12 colleges to senior accounts officers (Sr AOs), replacing the principals through an earlier order of the Finance Division. DUTA has also said that there has been an attempt by the Delhi government to bring in conditions of the New Education Policy (NEP) through ‘Pattern of Assistance’, which it says, seeks to impose through the governing bodies of the colleges funded by the Delhi government.
DUTA has demanded that the Pattern of Assistance be withdrawn. As part of it’s upcoming protests, DUTA has planned to gherao colleges wherever the Governing Body Meetings are held to adopt Pattern of Assistance.
A Delhi government statement on this reads, “The Pattern of Assistance has been implemented ever since Delhi government began funding these 12 colleges. It is surprising why this protest is being organised now.”
The statement further claims “special audits carried out by the government shows serious financial irregularities in the 12 colleges. Certain vested interests in DU want to hide the irregularities from Delhi government’s efforts on financial transparency.”
Reacting to the allegations, executive member of staff association of BR Ambedkar College, Sujit Kumar, said, “If the Delhi government has done all the audits then why isn’t it filing an FIR? You can’t stop the salaries of all employees over baseless allegations. We’re struggling every day because of our financial situation.”