Delhi University, a central university with 77 affiliated colleges across the city, will be facing a shortage of funds because the AAP government has stopped the funding for 28 constituent colleges. The reason given behind the decision is that the university administration failed to constitute governing bodies in these colleges. However, the real motive behind it is political as the government has not released the fund in the last four-five years. The administration claims that names of the members of the governing body were sent to Delhi government in the first week of April but it did not approve them till now. The major colleges affected by the decision are Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, Daulat Ram College and Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College.
“In most colleges, where the Delhi Government is supposed to contribute 5 per cent, it has not done so for the last four or five years. The Government must give the pending 5 per cent contribution in colleges, where this grant has not been released. So, it’s more than clear that it is the Delhi Government that has stopped/delayed the Constitution of these Colleges and is blaming DU for it,” said AK Bhagi, a Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA).
The Delhi government is not ready to release even the paltry share of 5 percent of total funding. But it promises to reserve 85 percent of seats for the residents of Delhi in 2019 general election manifesto. “In every college of Delhi, 85% of seats will be reserved for the residents of Delhi,” read the party manifesto. It also promised that “Students of Delhi Schools securing more than 60% marks in Class 12, shall get guaranteed admission in a college as regular student.” The question here arises is if the government cuts funding and is not ready to give even 5 percent money, how it could make claim on 85 percent of seats. The government is not ready to spend on higher education and if there are not enough seats how every student scoring above 60 percent would get admission in a college.
The teachers and students of the university are troubled due to the dictatorial nature of the AAP government. The DUTA released a press briefing criticizing the action of Delhi government. “The DUTA finds it unacceptable that the employees of these colleges be held to ransom because of the impasse created by the University and/or the Government. The stopping of funds is a short-sighted step as it will only disrupt the academic and administrative functioning of these colleges when students are preparing for their semester exams,” read the press release by DUTA. The harsh criticism comes despite the fact that DUTA is controlled by a member of Democratic Teacher’s Front, a left-leaning body which has traditionally been a supporter of AAP government.
The student’s body of Delhi University also criticized the anti-student stance of the AAP government. “The Vice Chancellor and the Delhi government are equally guilty for what is happening in the university,” says Shakti Singh, DUSU President. “There are already issues of pending salaries in these colleges. Apart from that, the infrastructure is also pretty bad. We want the VC to take a quick decision to solve this issue,” he adds. The decision of AAP government is anti-student and even its supporters are not happy with the authoritarian functioning and short term goals.