After 11 communications in the past 11 months yielded no result, the Delhi government has directed that “all funds” to 28 government-funded colleges in Delhi University be stopped by August 1 unless the university constitutes governing bodies before that. Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister Manish Sisodia, while describing the delay as a “farcical” and “deliberate”, directed the Director (Higher Education) on Tuesday to communicate to the university that “all funds from the Government of NCT of Delhi shall be stopped if the governing bodies are not constituted by July 31, 2017. Sisodia also directed the Principal Secretary (Finance) to stop funds unless written communication is received from the Directorate of Higher Education that governing bodies have been constituted. Each governing bodies includes five members nominated by the Delhi government to the college, and is at the helm of all decisions — ranging from finance to introducing new courses.
The Finance Department has also been directed to “issue written instructions to accounts officers of all departments concerned” — higher education, PWD, DTTDC — to “withhold funds” for colleges and projects related to them “unless explicit instructions are issued to the contrary”. These funds include “salaries, contingency grants and any other expenditure being done on construction and maintenance of buildings”. The Delhi government maintains that it has written to the Delhi University a total of 11 times since September last year. In his directions to the education department, Sisodia described the sequence of events as “too much of a coincidence”, especially when the process of recruiting ad-hoc and regular teachers was going on.
He added that it was “absolutely farcical” that the university, after a delay of five months, was “now setting up a Committee to review the panel of names sent by…itself”. On Monday, the AAP had alleged that the Delhi University administration, under pressure from the Central government, was deliberately not constituted governing bodies of 28 colleges which are fully or partially aided by the Delhi government. While 12 of them are fully funded, the government provides 5 per cent grant to 16 others. The remaining 95 per cent is given by the University Grants Commission (UGC).