SSF row: DUSU accuses AAP govt of misappropriating funds

Ashish Srivastava
New Delhi, Oct 19 : The Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) has decided to file a petition against the Arvind Kejriwal-led government in the Delhi High Court with allegations of misappropriation of funds after an order by the Delhi government directed 12 colleges of University of Delhi (DU), funded by the state, to exhaust the Student’s Society funds (SSF) to pay their staff.

The students’ body told IANS that the decision came after DUSU conducted a meeting with the representatives of these 12 colleges on Monday.

“DUSU has held several meetings with the elected student unions of these 12 colleges and has been continuously writing letters of protest to the Delhi government opposing the unlawful move to draw on students’ money for remunerating the college staff. We will be filing a writ petition to seek a stay order against this anti-student directive by the government of Delhi,” said Akshit Dahiya, President, DUSU.

Delhi government’s Directorate of Higher Education had released an order on Saturday commanding the 12 colleges to draw on the Students Society Fund (SSF) for payment of outstanding salary to the teaching and non-teaching staff. The staff of these 12 colleges have not been paid for up to six months.

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The order had cited the ongoing special audit and non-release of grant-in-aid as the reasons for not paying salaries to the staff. It also cited similar reasons to utilise SSF for the release of salaries.

However, the Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) had objected to the government’s reason to touch SSF for salary disbursement.

“Audits are routine matters for any institution and salaries have never been stopped on this pretext earlier. Why should it be any different this time,” asked DUTA President Rajib Ray.

The subject experts informed that the SSF corpus is constituted by the fees charged from the students with the purpose to fund various student societies at the colleges. The unspent amount is to be utilised only for students’ welfare.

As per the UGC guidelines based on Justice K Punnayya Committee’s report (1992-93) on UGC funding of institutions of higher education, the college account book is categorised into 11 income and 34 expenditure heads.

While tuition fee, prospectus fee and other similar charges fall under the income category, the SSF has not been included under any of the 11 income heads. Moreover, the guidelines imply that the deficit spending is to be financed exclusively by the government of Delhi.

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Besides, DUSU believes that SSF would be inadequate to remunerate the staff of 12 colleges.

“The accumulated funds (SSF) to the tune of several crores of rupees would be inadequate to remunerate the teaching and non-teaching staff of these 12 colleges beyond a period of two to three months. Since the Delhi government will be bound to exploit other sources for future provisions, appropriation of students’ money to discharge the existing liabilities is unreasonable and patently immoral,” Dahiya said.

Meanwhile, the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) has come in support of DUSU and called for a mass demonstration in front of the Delhi Secretariat on Tuesday against the arbitrary order by the Delhi government. The students’ body and the DUSU would take out a protest march from ITO to Delhi Secretariat.

“The Kejriwal government wants to dip into the funds meant exclusively for students’ welfare and misappropriate the money that rightfully belongs to the students. The state government should hand over the control of its colleges to the Centre if it continues to be evasive and behaves irresponsibly,” said Sidharth Yadav, Secretary, ABVP Delhi.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.

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