“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.