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 Delhi govt to stop funds to 28 DU colleges

NEW DELHI : The Delhi government has decided to block its funding for 28 Delhi University (DU) colleges — that are either fully or partially funded by it— if the DU Executive Council does not appoint governing bodies of the colleges by July 31.

Several DU colleges have been operating without a governing body for several months. The government has alleged that there has been a ‘deliberate attempt’ to delay the formation of the bodies.

The 28 colleges, of which 12 get 100% and 16 get 5% funding from the government, have not had full governing bodies since October 2016, when their term ended. This is the first time that the bodies were not given a three-month extension.

Taking up the matter, Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister Manish Sisodia ordered both the Directorate of Higher Education (DHE) and the Finance Department to stop the funding for these colleges if the governing bodies are not appointed by July 31.

In his directions to the DHE, Mr. Sisodia said he was “shocked” by the “callousness” on the part of DU as the colleges were functioning with truncated governing bodies for months now.

With DU and the Delhi government nominating five members each to the panels, Mr. Sisodia said that DU had been holding up the appointments by not sending the names of its nominees on time. In fact, the DHE had sent letters and reminders to DU, asking for its nominees, several times.

First, the DHE wrote to the Registrar of DU, asking for the panel of names on September 16, 2016. Separate reminders were sent on November 25, 2016, December 29, 2016 and February 1, 2017.

On February 14, a panel of names was sent by DU to the government.

The AAP government then sent its panel of names for the approval of the Executive Council on March 6.

On April 4, the government was asked to send details about the nominees in a different format.

The list was again sent to the university by the government on May 11.

The list was then tabled before the Executive Council on July 3, but it was not approved.

A meeting of the council on July 6 was postponed. The matter was again tabled before the council on July 14, but it was not approved and a new committee was formed to review it.

Citing these events, Mr. Sisodia said there appeared to be a “deliberate and mala fide attempt to delay the formation of governing bodies in the colleges funded by the Delhi government”.

“It seems too much of a coincidence that the governing bodies of these colleges are being delayed at a time when the process of ad-hoc and regular appointments is going on,” Mr. Sisodia wrote in his directions.

According to sources, the Delhi government gives about Rs 360 crore annually to the 28 colleges.

Mr. Sisodia has ordered the DHE that the funds, including for salaries and contingency grants, should not be disbursed after August 1 if the governing bodies are not in place by July 31.

The Finance Department has also been informed not to release the funds until a written communication confirming the appointments is not received.

 

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