The teaching and non-teaching staff of 12 colleges of the Delhi University (DU), fully funded by the Delhi government, have not received their salaries for several months. The employees have been knocking the doors of University Grant Commission (UGC), urging them to takeover these colleges.
These DU colleges include Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar College, Maharaja Agrasen College, Maharshi Valmiki College, Indira Gandhi Sports College, Aditi Mahavidyalaya, Bhagini Nivedita College, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College, Bhaskaracharya College of Applied Science and Keshav Mahavidyalaya among others. The employees say their salaries can be barely paid with the financial grants of the Delhi government.
These colleges also have guest teachers, contractual employees, who get Rs 12,000 to Rs 15,000 per month, and for the last two months, many have not been paid. According to the teachers, they are working without pay. The Delhi University Teachers' Association (DUTA) says that the ad-hoc teachers working in these 12 colleges are being described as ghost employees by the state government. DUTA has demanded that these ad-hoc and temporary teachers should be accommodated by bringing a Bill in the Delhi Legislative Assembly. The teachers' body has also sought the immediate release of 25 per cent seats under the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) quota.
DUTA has urged the Central government to bring the 28 colleges funded and administered by the Delhi government directly under the UGC. Delhi University Executive Council member and advocate Ashok Aggarwal has said that the non-payment of salary to teachers and employees is against the right to earn a living. He said that he is ready to assist and cooperate legally in the matter. Earlier, DUTA President Professor A.K. Bhagi has said that the Delhi government wants to get rid of these 12 colleges by making financial cuts. "Kejriwal had released the grant in January -- before the Punjab elections, and then started stopping the grant as soon as the elections were over," he added.
According to Bhagi, the proposed budget of this year is even less than the salary budget of last year. "Nothing less than a permanent solution to this problem will be acceptable," he asserted. DUTA says that in the midst of the Corona crisis, the teachers continued to teach the students. They organised online classes and assisted in organising activities required for teaching, and training. However, as a result of the "careless attitude and prejudiced thinking of the Delhi government, more than 1,000 such teachers are concerned about their salaries for the last two years", the teachers' body asserted. Salaries are being released to teachers and employees in the Delhi government-funded colleges with a delay of two to six months, while in all other colleges of the DU, which are funded by the Central government, salaries are being disbursed on time.
Not only for the teachers but also for the non-teaching staff and contract workers of these colleges, the financial crisis has arisen and it has become difficult for them to meet their daily expenses. Even the Delhi Teachers Association (DTA), a teacher organisation of the Aam Aadmi Party, has accepted that these colleges have been affected by the "non-release of grants by the Delhi government". "This has not only affected salary payments, but also pending medical bills, retirement benefits and other development expenses," DTA President Hansraj Suman told an Indian news agency.