Several teaching and non-teaching staff of the Delhi University on Thursday participated in a day-long strike called by the DU Teachers' Association (DUTA) against the alleged funds cut of 12 colleges by the city government.
In a statement, the DUTA said the "unjustified funds cut" has resulted in non-payment of salaries to thousands of employees of these 12 colleges for the past two-six months and non-reimbursement of medical bills, allowances, arrears etc for the past two years thereby making these 12 colleges "financially sick".
The protest was led by DUTA president Prof Ajay Kumar Bhagi, office bearers, DUTA executives and all the teaching and non-teaching fraternity of DU who boycotted online classes and administrative work. Delhi University and College Karmachari Union (DUCKU) has also supported the call given by DUTA and issued a letter in this regard.
Delhi University Principal Association (DUPA) and DUTA have also urged the university administration to intervene in the matter. Prof Bhagi and all other DUTA office bearers tweeted against the fund cut and asked the Delhi government to repay all the dues and maintain continuity of fund supply in future.
Meanwhile, the Delhi government has issued a notification to hand over charge of these 12 colleges to AOs, employees of the Delhi government in addition to their existing duties, they alleged. "DUTA rejects this attack on the educational autonomy of DU and its colleges by the AAP government. It seems that the Delhi government wants to force upon its funding formula that would lead to self-financing mode of education in these institutions," the DUTA said.
Denying any delay on releasing funds, Atishi said a total of Rs 53.49 crore was released by the Delhi government in October-November 2021 for the dispensation of salaries of the October-December 2021 quarter. "Despite the funds being released by the Delhi government, the colleges seem adamant towards not paying their teachers. This points towards a clear case of extreme financial mismanagement. It is to be wondered why there is a lack of transparency in these colleges. The colleges do not fulfil their duties in time and turn around to say that the Delhi government is not giving funds," she claimed.
She questioned why the delays are "purposefully planted" and "why do the colleges blame the Delhi government when the delay is on their end?" "We urge the Delhi University administration to look into why such extreme cases of financial mismanagement are taking place under their watch," she said.
Twenty-eight DU colleges are partly or fully funded by the Delhi government, including 12 that are fully funded. The colleges and the government have been locked in a tussle over the issue of release of funds over the last two-three years.
With inputs from PTI.