Thousands of teachers from 12 Delhi University colleges funded by the Delhi government are protesting against the non-payment of salaries for the past six months.
The teachers have alleged that the grant for the fourth quarter, which was due in January, has not been released. They also said that the grant for the third quarter has also not been released in its entirety. They have only received salaries for October or November, depending on the college.
On Wednesday, March 10, Delhi University Teachers' Association (DUTA) wrote to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal about their further step towards shutting down the colleges.
"The adamant stance of the government has left us with no other option but to call for a complete shutdown…We hope that you will respond adequately to the gravity of the situation and take steps for the immediate release of the grants," the letter stated.
Last week, teachers from different colleges also alleged that they were not being paid regular salaries since 2019 and said that almost 1,200 teachers at these colleges were struggling to fulfil their needs.
"The strike by the DU teachers which started on Maha Shivratri would intensify in the coming days, with teachers taking to the streets on March 15," the DUTA said in a statement.
"The DUTA will hold an 'Adhikar rally' from the VC office to the CM residence on March 15 and another march from the VC office to the LG's office on March 18," the statement added.
Mahaveer Genwa, president of the Deen Dayal Upadhyay (DDU) college staff association said that the last salary they received was for October 2020.
Genwa said that there are at least 30 ad-hoc teachers in their college who have additionally not been paid their two-month summer salaries for 2019 as well as 2020.
"This is the end of the financial year and they have their taxes and other liabilities to take care of. Due to the non-payment of salaries, many teachers have received notices from their landlords or have been marked as defaulters for their loan payments," Genwa said.
Speaking to The Logical Indian, Maharaja Agrasen College professor and former president of the executive staff association, Dr Tez Narayan Ojha said, "It's very disappointing for us not to go to college and teach our students. Delhi government claims their main agendas are the education sector and the health sector. When we, the professors of DU are asking about our salaries, then we are degraded. We are concerned about our salaries as we can't survive without 'bread butter' and we are also concerned about our students as well."
Staff associations of these colleges have also said that after the release of their salaries, they will be independent of the Delhi government. "We had faith in the government because they had said in a court affidavit that they will release the fourth grant in January but they seem to be of the perception that they have to take over these colleges like they are trying to do with College of Art," said Subodh Kumar, president of the Maharaja Agrasen College staff association.
Meanwhile, the Delhi government has said that it has cleared the third instalment of dues to the colleges but the institutions have not paid salaries to the teachers for the last several months.
"It seems that the colleges are attempting to hide financial irregularities by not submitting utilisation certificates," the government alleged.
The 12 colleges which are affiliated with the Delhi University and are fully funded by the Delhi government include- AcharyaNarendra Dev College, Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar College, Bhaskaracharya College of Applied Sciences, Bhagini Nivedita College, DeenDayal Upadhyaya College, Aditi Mahavidyalaya Women's College, Indira Gandhi Institute of Physical Education & Sports Sciences, Keshav Mahavidyalaya, Maharaja Agrasen College (DU), Maharshi Valmiki College of Education, Shaheed Rajguru College of Applied Sciences for Women and Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies.