Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena is contemplating the establishment of a committee to examine financial irregularities within the 12 Delhi University colleges funded by the city government, as per officials from Raj Niwas.
On Monday, a delegation from the Delhi University Principals’ Association met with Saxena. They presented a memorandum outlining various concerns, including financial irregularities, in these 12 colleges, as per an official statement. The LG assured the delegation that he would evaluate the possibility of forming a committee to examine financial issues. It will be comprising of all relevant stakeholders to address these issues in a time-bound manner.
This development follows closely on the heels of Delhi Education Minister Atishi’s letter to Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan last Friday. In her letter, Atishi brought attention to “irregularities and procedural lapses involving hundreds of crores of rupees from the public exchequer” within these 12 colleges.
The Academic Council of Delhi University and the Indian National Teachers Congress filed a memorandum to Vice Chancellor Yogesh Singh earlier today. It was urging an immediate meeting to discuss Atishi’s concerns. After that, the LG decided to set up a committee to examine financial mismanagement at 12 DU colleges. The point of disagreement centres on what Atishi referred to as “irregularities.” In response to Atishi’s correspondence, INTEC has chastised her letter. This was claimed that without first consulting with pertinent parties, a major policy issue affecting the 12 affected institutions had been brought before Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.
The claim made by Atishi in her letter is based on the idea that these institutions are not answerable to the Delhi government for the prudent use of finances because they are in direct affiliation with Delhi University. She proposed that these institutions be divided from DU and fully put under the federal government’s control. Furthermore, they can merge and be run by the Delhi government. Atishi stated that the government of Delhi will stop providing funding to these organisations in the latter case.
Contrary to Atishi’s characterization of these colleges as “affiliated,” the memorandum from the Academic Council and INTEC members contends that these institutions are, in fact, “constituent” colleges of the University of Delhi. According to the memorandum, these colleges have inherently interconnected with the university and cannot be considered separate entities.
The Delhi government’s expressed intention to convert these colleges into Autonomous Degree Granting Colleges under clause 10.3 of the New Education Policy has been seen as a clear indication of a privatization agenda. Critics argue that such a move could potentially make education financially inaccessible for economically disadvantaged sections of society.
This concern was articulated in a memorandum. This also called for an urgent convening of a special Executive Meeting by the Delhi University. This was to thoroughly discuss the matter and reach a conclusive decision. The memorandum further emphasised the need for the university to address the potential consequences of this transformation. This was particularly in terms of affordability for economically weaker sections.
The statement from the concerned group, INTEC, explicitly condemned a letter from Atishi. This has pertained to the 12 colleges receiving 100 percent funding from the Delhi government. The condemnation was unequivocal, reflecting the group’s strong disapproval of the proposed changes. This was their potential impact on the accessibility of education for the individuals who are not financially stable.
The city government’s proposition to disaffiliate certain colleges from Delhi University. This was relocating them to either Ambedkar University or Delhi Skills and Entrepreneurship University, which has faced strong condemnation. Critics argue that not only do these alternative institutions impose exorbitant fee structures, but they also lack offerings in the science stream.
The teachers’ association contends that inadequate grant allocations have precipitated a severe financial crisis for these colleges. This is resulting in frequent delays in the disbursement of salaries to both teaching and non-teaching staff. Furthermore, the association alleges the existence of substantial pending arrears. It is amounting to crores of rupees, for teachers who have received promotions in the last eighteen months.