Delhi University Teacher's Association (DUTA) demanded the release of complete funds to pay salaries to the teaching and non-teaching staff of 12 colleges fully funded by the Delhi government on Thursday (January 20).
Including teachers and other staff, 6000 employees of the Delhi University have sent a petition to Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal stating the urgency to look for a permanent solution to the funding issue of the colleges funded by the Delhi government.
Petition And The Press Conference
The petition also addresses that non-release of funds has impacted employees' salaries and allowances and has affected these colleges' overall maintenance and growth.
In an online press conference held by DUTA earlier, it was said that the teaching staff, non-teaching employees and contractual workers of 12 Delhi government-funded colleges of DU have been facing serious problems due to non-payment of their salaries for the past two to six months. Addressing the press conference, DUTA president Ajay Bhagi said, "Since the last two years, the employees are suffering. We want full and not partial funding. Employees are in real debt. The medical reimbursement has not been done, and the teachers are also facing serious monetary adversities. Colleges are in a dilapidated state, especially Aditi college and Bhagini Nivedita College," as reported by ANI.
The Fund Crunch Crisis
Non-payment of their salaries has led to the DU employees facing violations of their human and constitutional rights and financial crisis. However, the Delhi government had earlier said that it had released Rs. 53.39 crore for these colleges earlier in October-November. It instead blamed the individual colleges for not paying their respective employees, as reported by The Hindu.
DUTA, however, said that the funds released by the government then were used up for paying salaries for the two years when they had no released funds. This has caused a deficit of Rs. 4 crores to Rs. 34 crore in various colleges. The delay in releasing funds for a long time has affected their regular payment of salaries by two to six months.
Bhagi further said that the way the funds are being dealt with, the government wants colleges to either turn into institutions with financial issues or switch to self-financing mode with a higher fee structure. The AAP government had thought of an education revolution in Delhi, but the sad reality is that the teachers are working without their salary payments, as reported by The Hindu.
To tackle the issue and raise their voices, teachers had contacted the Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister, the court and the National Human Rights Council (NHRC) through representations to release their salaries, Bhagi added. But they had just received temporary solutions and nothing concrete for permanent relief.
They had earlier threatened for complete shutdown due to non-payment of salaries. They are raising their voices online because physical protests are impossible due to the pandemic and rise in cases.
Apart from their salary payments, they want additional funds to be released to construct new buildings for colleges like Bhagni Nivedita College, Aditi Mahavidayalya, Acharya Narendra Dev College, Indira Institute of Physical Education and Sports, Maharishi Balmiki College of education, among others.