New Delhi, 16th March: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday convened a meeting with the principals and chairpersons of the 12 fully funded DU colleges by the Delhi government. Addressing the meeting, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that the Delhi government will release the funds which amount to Rs 28.24 crores, and the Delhi government will only issue funds in the future based on the directions of the court on whether the funds currently available under different heads can be used for salaries or not. The Delhi government will release the amount so that the teaching staff and the colleges do not suffer till the matter is in court. The Delhi government will issue an invite to the Vice-Chancellor on behalf of Manish Sisodia Ji’s office to have a dialogue with him on the pending issues and concerns. Dy Chief Minister and Education Minister Manish Sisodia also said that the 12 fully funded colleges should have confidence in the Delhi government, and they should be 100% Delhi government-funded colleges in letter and spirit. He said that it is an unfair and impractical approach to demand funds from one agency, but follow Pattern of Assistance (POA) of some other agency. There should be 100% transparency in their accounts and budgets which is required to bridge the gap between the Delhi government and Delhi University.
Along with the officials of the Delhi government, including Secretary and Principal Secretary for Department of Higher Education, Govt. of NCT of Delhi, College Principals, and AO’s (Account Officers) of the 12 colleges were present in the meeting convened today.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, “Since the last few days, I have been reading news reports that the teaching staff of the DU colleges is not getting salaries. Our government is known and recognized for working to improve the education and health sectors in Delhi. But there has been an unwarranted misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the intentions of the Delhi government. I want to clarify to all of the esteemed members present in this meeting; we are on the same side of the table. We do not oppose the pleas and concerns of the staff. Since the last few years, we have tried to initiate talks with the DU authorities and the VC, but there may have been differences, political and otherwise. Today is a new beginning. We also need dialogue to be initiated on behalf of the Delhi University authorities and the Vice-Chancellor of the DU to resolve several issues which are pending and are acting as a bone of contention. We will issue an invite to the Vice-Chancellor on behalf of Manish Sisodia Ji’s office to have a dialogue with him on the pending issues.”
CM Arvind Kejriwal said, “The Delhi government has decided to release Rs 28.24 crores, which is the amount that is pending with the Delhi government, to the fully funded Delhi University colleges. We know and understand the plight of the staff and the teachers, and we do not want their salaries to stop till the time the matter is sub judice. We will release the amount so that the colleges do not suffer, and we will ask the court to solve the issue concerning what expenditure should the head be included under. The Delhi government will only issue funds in the future based on the directions of the court on whether the funds currently available under different heads can be used for salaries or not. We will release the funds on humanitarian grounds and we will let the court decide on whether to include these funds in revenue or any other head.”
Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia pointed out some administrative issues affecting the release of funds by the Delhi government. He said, “Since the last five years, I have sanctioned funds to various colleges for various project proposals. We are ready to fully fund the colleges that come under our ambit, irrespective of the heads those funds come under. There needs to be 100% transparency on behalf of our constituent colleges. The colleges should have confidence in the Delhi government, and they should be 100% Delhi government-funded colleges in letter and spirit. If you behave transparently, the Delhi government is ready to give funds transparently. Everything should be reflected in their accounts and budgets.”
“Secondly,” he added, “because these institutes are 100% funded by the Delhi government, the Pattern of Assistance of the Delhi government must be followed. The colleges must not bill the government. For example, the Delhi government does not have any record of the appointment of staff before 2010, but we are expected to pay the salaries of the teaching staff irrespective of that. The colleges must take prior permission from the Delhi government before appointing the staff because the Delhi government is funding their salaries and expenses. If that does not happen, it will reflect as an impractical and unfair approach on the part of the Delhi University. Thirdly, the Governing Bodies serve as a bridge between the Delhi University and the Delhi government, we cannot demolish them. Their timeline should be extended as soon as possible. Fourthly, there have been delays in issuing the Utilisation Certificate (UC), which should be eliminated for the officials to function efficiently and release funds as soon as possible.”
CM Arvind Kejriwal said, “There are many pending issues that need to be resolved. We do not want the perception of our colleges to diminish. We want your ranking to improve because your success reflects our success. We will issue an invite to the Vice-Chancellor on behalf of Manish Sisodia Ji’s office to have a dialogue with him on the pending issues. We realize that issues need to be resolved on both sides and we are happy to talk about them.”
The Chairpersons and Members of the Governing Bodies, College Principals, and AO’s (Account Officers) of the 12 colleges were present in the meeting convened today. They applauded the Delhi government for initiating a dialogue between the Delhi government and Delhi University. They said that the infrastructure and the system of the colleges have improved tremendously under the Delhi government.
By Lipakshi Seedhar (Feature Writer)
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