AAP-led Delhi govt faces flak after college funded by it partly withholds faculty salary
Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College, a DU college fully funded by the Delhi govt, issued a notice announcing withholding of part of the take-home salary of the teaching faculty till funds became available
Three weeks after The New York Times (NYT) published a front-page story appreciating the AAP-led Delhi government’s ‘education model’ in Delhi, it has come to the fore that as many as 12 colleges fully funded by it have been facing a severe crunch of funds for the last five years due to which teachers have not been getting their full salaries on time.
One such institution, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College, hit the headlines on Saturday for issuing a notice in which it announced withholding of Rs 30,000 from the net salary of Assistant Professors and Rs 50,000 from the net salary of Associate Professors and Professors.
"This is for information of all permanent teaching staff that due to paucity of funds, Rs 30,000 has been retained from net salary of Assistant Professors and Rs 50,000 from net salary of Associate Professors/Professors for the month of July, 2022. The same will be released as and when funds are available," said a notice issued by DDU College signed by the Officiating Principal said.
As per office-bearers of Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA), the 12 colleges, including DDU College, faced a deficit of about Rs 85 to 90 crore in this academic year.
DUTA president AK Bhagi held the AAP government completely responsible for the “misgovernance” of the colleges.
“The problem has been going on for last 5 years…earlier funds were delayed, but funds are being cut for the last two years,” he told the media on Saturday.
Hitting out at Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, Bhagi said, “Kejriwal's real face came to the fore. Political activists associated with the AAP were appointed as head of governing bodies…politicisation is responsible for the misgovernance”.
“We want the Central government to take these colleges under its wings,” Bhagi was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
“Even the medical bills of the people are not being reimbursed, there is a problem in allowances. Not only teachers but students are also facing problems as there is no maintenance. Sometimes there is a problem of water, sometimes there is no electricity because the bills are not paid on time,” the DUTA president said during a media interaction.
Former DUTA president Rajiv Ray claimed that there is a difference of about Rs 100 crore in the demand and payment. He alleged that the AAP government has slashed the budget for the colleges this year.
DUTA members, along with the DDU College teachers, protested in front of Kejriwal’s house but the AAP-led Delhi government did not pay heed. Later, teachers submitted a memorandum to Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena, which too came to no avail.
Krishna Mohan Vats, an executive member of DUTA, said, “We held protests in the past and we are also planning to hold more demonstrations in the coming months against the Delhi government. Teaching faculty somehow is managing but the other staff is facing many problems.”
It is worth recalling here that NYT’s story had become a major flash point between the AAP and the BJP.
The issue of deficit of funds, observers believe, has the potential to snowball into another major confrontation between the two parties.