Two govt-funded DU colleges pass resolution to use surplus funds to pay staff

Two Delhi government-funded Delhi University (DU) colleges on Saturday passed a resolution directing its administrations to use surplus funds to pay salaries and meet other expenses.

The Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA) saw the move as the Delhi government forcing colleges it funded to change the pattern of financial assistance.

The governing bodies (GBs) of Indira Gandhi Institute of Physical Education and the Sports Sciences and Maharishi Valmiki College of Education on Saturday passed the resolution that read,” Special audits show that all 12 colleges have surplus grant aid excess is drawn and available with them. Consequently, the colleges are directed to use the same minus student society fund for the purpose of the salary, allowance and other approved and admissible recurring expenses.”

It further said that the colleges cannot undertake any activity that entails financial liability for the government, like creation of posts and infrastructure projects over 2 crore, without taking prior approval from the government.

The other 10 colleges were yet to pass the resolution.

DUTA said in a statement, “It’s shocking that these twelve colleges are being forced to adopt in their GBs a document called ‘Pattern of Assistance’ issued by the Directorate of Higher Education, Government of Delhi. The provisions of this Pattern of Assistance are designed to … divest Delhi Government of its funding responsibility by coercing them to gradually become self-sufficient and self-sustaining.”

GBs have 10 members, both from the college as well as government-nominated and their numbers differ from college to college. It is the apex decision making body in the colleges.

Deepanshu Srivastav, the government-appointed chairperson of Maharishi Valmiki College, said, “The resolution was passed after proper discussion. None was forced to sign the document. We know that the 12 Delhi government colleges have enough funds in their account to pay salaries to their employees, and that’s why we passed the resolution.”

Prabhanjan Jha, a government-appointed GB member at Aditi Mahavidyalaya College, said, “The Delhi government is liable to the deficit only after the utilization of reserves as per the pattern of assistance.”

Principal of one of the other 10 colleges, who wished not to be named, said, “Only those colleges having government-appointed GB chairpersons are in favour of the resolution. We are totally against it. How can we pay salaries from the money released under different heads for different purposes? This is totally against the norms.”

A senior Delhi government official, who wished not to be named, said, “The pattern of assistance is already applied to all Delhi government fully-funded colleges in DU… Besides, the government has already released the pending grants to these colleges.”

These 12 state government-funded colleges have been at loggerheads with the Delhi government over funds for a long time. Earlier, the colleges had alleged that the government either delayed release of funds or gave “insufficient” funds, and the government alleged financial irregularities in these colleges claiming they had surplus reserves.

Delhi Education Minister Manish Sisodia had on Friday ordered a probe into the alleged irregularities in these 12 DU colleges. This was a day after teachers launched an indefinite strike demanding their salaries pending since November.

DUTA president Rajib Ray said, “The Delhi Government released 82.79 crores under salary head and an amount of 9.50 crores under other than salaries’ head on Friday. However, the grants released are insufficient, and, in most colleges, will meet fund requirements for payment of salaries only up to January… The government can’t ask these colleges to use their savings for the payment of salaries.”

The resolution related to changing pattern of assistance could further escalate the existing tussle between these colleges and the Delhi government.