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.