Over 2,700 teaching and non-teaching staff of 12 Delhi University colleges may not get salaries from this month if the AAP government continues to withhold release of funds over non-formation of governing bodies.
These 12 colleges, fully funded by the Delhi government, are facing a severe financial crunch and finding it difficult to pay salaries and develop infrastructure.
The issue of formation of governing bodies has resulted in an impasse between Delhi University and the city government, with both accusing each other of delaying the process.
A Delhi government official said, "There is no delay from our side. As soon as we get response on the clarification we sought from colleges, we will proceed."
Anurag Mishra, a professor at Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College, said, "The salaries of teaching and non-teaching staff have been delayed. We have exhausted funds."
"This year, due to the EWS category being introduced, there will be an increase in the intake of students but there is no money for infrastructure development. Classrooms and labs have been built to accommodate a particular number of students. But if the college wants to expand the existing infrastructure, they do not have the funds," he added.
According to an official from Acharya Narendra Dev College, who requested anonymity, "The college has been forced to divert funds from college society fund to salary account. This can only go on for a month or so. The college has not even released the arrears of seventh pay commission to our teachers. The college principal has sent two letters to the Delhi government urging it to release funds but to no avail."
He said the college is staring at a chaotic situation from next month when they will have no money to pay the salaries of teachers and the new academic session will be commencing.
Manoj Sinha, the principal of Aryabhatta College and secretary of a principals' association of the university, said the colleges were suffering due to the impasse.
"The stopping of grants by any agency -- Delhi government or UGC -- is detrimental to the overall health of an institution. This is not an acceptable form of tussle between two powerful bodies..."
According to a university official, if a college is fully funded by an institution, it means that its gets 95 to 97 per cent of the funds from it and two to three per cent from student fees. Colleges get Rs 35 to 50 crore in funding depending on the size and staff strength of the college and Rs 2 crore to Rs 4 crore from student fees annually.
Every college is paying Rs two to four crore monthly to its teaching and non-teaching staff so if there is fund crunch, they can only pay a month's salary from the student fees.
If the college does not get a major chunk of funds, it does not have anything to fall upon. The colleges usually start off by cutting off various allowances, then activities and then delaying salaries in the event of a fund crunch.
An official from Aditi Mahavidyalaya said, "From the last two months, we have been paying the salaries of teachers from the student fund but this is a temporary solution. We do not have money left to pay the salary of teachers from next month. The college wrote two letters to the Higher Education Department of the Delhi government in April and May but there has been no response."
Sources claimed that there is a similar situation in Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar College where teachers might not get the salary of June.
The administration of Bhagini Nivedita College has released salaries but medical reimbursement has not been issued for May. Similarly, the authorities at Keshav Mahavidyalaya have disbursed salaries but medical reimbursement has not been given.
There were speculations that the Delhi government wants to bring these 12 colleges of Delhi University under Ambedkar University, which is run by it.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had written a letter on April 16 to the Secretary, Higher Education stating that no funds should be given to 28 colleges (fully or partially funded by them) till they form their governing bodies.
Following Sisodia's letter to the Delhi University vice-chancellor on April 23, the university wrote to the Directorate of Higher Education asking it to finalise the names to be nominated for the governing bodies of the colleges.
Responding to the letter, Sisodia said the university should have sent at least 400 names to the panel, instead of just 188. He also asked whether the names were cleared by the varsity's executive council and advised that the term of the existing governing bodies be extended.
On Thursday, a DU official said that the Delhi government has to first short-list the names and send them back to the varsity which will then be vetted by the university's EC.
The 12 colleges fully-funded by the Delhi government are Indira Gandhi Institute of Physical Education & Sports Science, Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies, Shaheed Raj Guru College , Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College, Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar College, Acharya Narendra Dev College, Bhagini Nivedita College, Keshav Maha Vidyalaya, Maharaja Agrasen College, Aditi Mahavidyalaya, Mahirishi Balmiki College of Education and Bhaskara Charya College of Applied Science.
Sixteen colleges, that are partially-funded by the Delhi government, are Shivaji College, Motilal Nehru College, Laxmi Bai College, Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, Maiteryi College, SPM College for Women, Satyawati College, Vivekanand College, Rajdhani College , Kamla Nehru College, Gargi College, Swami Shardhanand College, Kalindi College, Bharti College, Sri Aurbindo College and Delhi College of Arts and Commerce.