Cut funding to 28 DU colleges, Manish Sisodia tells finance department

Manish Sisodia, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, Ramjas School, Ramjas School Principal, Delhi News, Indian Express, Indian Express News

The Delhi government Monday directed that disbursement of funds to 28 government-funded colleges in Delhi University be stopped. The move comes after the university failed to appoint governing bodies for the colleges, despite receiving 11 communications in the last 11 months as well as a warning. The governing body supervises and controls affairs of the college, and also handles its funds. It has members suggested by both the Delhi government and the university. Once constituted, it would give the Delhi government a say in the matters of the college through its appointed members.

In a series of tweets, Education Minister and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said he “cannot allow unchecked corruption and irregularities to be sustained on Delhi government funds in the name of education” and added that he has ordered the finance department to stop funding the 28 colleges. Earlier, Sisodia had described the delay in appointing governing bodies in colleges as “farcical” and “deliberate”. Last Tuesday, he had directed the Director (Higher Education) to communicate to the university that “all funds from government of NCT of Delhi shall be stopped if the governing bodies are not constituted by July 31, 2017”. Sisodia had also directed the Principal Secretary (Finance) to stop the fund unless “written communication was received from (the) directorate of higher education (stating) that governing bodies have been constituted”.

On Monday, the Delhi government maintained that they have written to the Delhi University 11 times since last September on the issue. In his directions to the education department in July this year, Sisodia described the sequence of events as “too much of a coincidence”, especially when the process of recruiting ad hoc and regular teachers was going on. He added that it was “absolutely farcical” that the university, after a delay of five months, was “now setting up a committee to review the panel of names sent by…itself”.

Meanwhile, the AAP had alleged that the Delhi University administration, under pressure from the Centre, had deliberately not constituted governing bodies of the 28 colleges that are fully or partially aided by the Delhi government. While 12 are fully funded, the government provides five per cent grant to the 16 others. The remaining 95 per cent is given by the UGC. However, Devesh Sinha, DU’s Dean of Colleges, said, “We discussed the matter with Sisodia ji’s office Monday morning. The list of governing body members that we get from the Delhi government goes to DU’s Executive Council, to make sure there is a healthy mix of educationists, lawyers, journalists, etc in each governing body. But since our V-C and other top officials are occupied with the Law Faculty interviews, there has been some delay in the process. The matter will be sorted in a few days; they can’t cut funding.”

S K Garg, principal of Deen Dayal Upadhyay College, which gets 100 per cent funding from the Delhi government, said this was a matter between the university and the government. “The college cannot do anything in this. If our funds are cut, we’ll shut the college. What else can we do?” he said.

About 28 Delhi University colleges to be audited over graft complaints: Deputy CM Manish Sisodia

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Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Tuesday wrote to CAG demanding an audit of 28 Delhi University colleges, wholly or partially funded by the state government, after receiving complaints of corruption against them. The move comes a day after the Delhi government ordered a freeze on the funding of the 28 colleges following the varsity’s failure to constitute Governing Bodies (GBs) for over 10 months.

The Delhi University (DU) teachers, on the other hand, have written to Vice Chancellor Yogesh Tyagi, urging him to
complete the GB formation process so that students do not suffer due to funds freeze.

“Have written to CAG asking for comprehensive audit of 28 Delhi govt funded colleges, as I’ve received many complaints of corruption. 28 colleges need CAG audit as there are complaints of corruption; with no Governing Bodies for 10 months, there’s been no oversight,” Sisodia said in a series of tweets.

Sisodia, who is also the education minister, said, “It seems governing bodies have not been formed so that corruption and irregularities can go on. Public money cannot be wasted like this”. He also posted a letter from BJP MP Udit Raj on his Twitter handle, complaining of alleged irregularities in appointments to government funded colleges.

A college’s governing body comprises 15 members, out of which five are nominated by the state government. The body is responsible for taking several administrative decisions. Out of the 28 colleges, Maharaja Agrasen College,
BR Ambedkar College, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College, Keshav Mahavidyalaya and Bhagini Nivedita College etc are wholly funded by the Delhi government.

The College of Vocational Studies, Rajdhani College, Shivaji College, Motilal Nehru College, Aurobindo College, Kalindi College and Shyama Prasad Mukherji College are among those partially funded by the state.

“The university is in the process of completing the formalities and soon the bodies will be formed,” a senior DU official said.

Manish Sisodia calls for CAG audit of 28 colleges: Cannot turn a blind eye to malpractices

Manish Sisodia, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, Ramjas School, Ramjas School Principal, Delhi News, Indian Express, Indian Express News

“The government cannot turn a blind eye to… malpractices and irregularities potentially taking place in the 28 Delhi University colleges funded by it”, said Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister Manish Sisodia in a letter to Shashi Kant Sharma, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, while requesting a “comprehensive audit of these colleges”.

In the letter, Sisodia requested that the audit look at “all expenditure made by these colleges in the financial years 2016-17 and 2017-18”, “procedure of regular and ad-hoc appointments” and “regulatory and administrative action taken by DU (with respect to) these 28 colleges”. The letter added that the “audit is essential to ensure that there has been no misuse of public money”.

On Monday, the government had directed that all funds to the 28 government-funded colleges in DU be stopped, after the university failed to appoint governing bodies to these colleges despite 11 communications in the past 11 months.

In his letter, Sisodia wrote, “The oversight and monitoring of the procedures and expenditures in these colleges is done by the governing bodies. The term of the governing bodies ended in October last year. Since then, DU has been delaying the formation of these bodies, despite repeated correspondence.”

He added, “I have regularly been getting representations regarding corruption and irregularities in these colleges; including a letter from Udit Raj (MP, northwest Delhi) with details of irregularities in the appointment procedures in one these colleges…” Raj’s letter was also shared by Sisodia on social media outlets.

Dean of Colleges, Devesh Sinha, said, “I have not seen the letter demanding an audit, but any funding agency has the right to conduct audits. Even the Centre asks for such audits.”

The government’s order is already creating a flutter in the university, with the Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) writing to Sisodia as well as Vice-Chancellor Yogesh Tyagi.

In the letter to Sisodia, DUTA president Nandita Narain said, “DU has no right to delay the process or continue functioning with truncated governing bodies. We cannot accept such a harsh decision which penalises teachers and students for no fault of theirs.” DUTA has also appealed to Tyagi to urgently constitute the governing bodies.