ABVP, NSUI stage protests against Delhi govt's directive to DU colleges over pending salaries

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New Delhi, Oct 20 (PTI) The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and the National Students Union of India (NSUI) staged separate protests on Tuesday over the Delhi government's directive to the 12 DU colleges fully funded by it to pay the outstanding salaries of employees from the Students Society Fund (SSF).

According to police, 53 protesters were detained before they could reach the Delhi secretariat and released subsequently.

NSUI national president Neeraj Kundan said the students' fund is part of the fees collected from students and according to university statutes, it cannot be utilised for paying salaries to teachers.

'On one hand, the Delhi government says it allocates such a high budget for education and on the other, it is not ready to give grants for payment of salaries. We demand that the order be revoked and the government release grants to these colleges,' he said.

ABVP Delhi state secretary Sidharth Yadav said, 'After a series of fee hikes in colleges under its management, the recent directive legitimising the embezzlement of students' money is yet another assault by the Delhi government on the rights of the student community. The Delhi government is using the COVID-19 pandemic as a convenient excuse to camouflage its incompetence and justify the misappropriation of the SSF corpus towards functions not connected to student welfare.' 'It is high time that the management and control of these 12 colleges, wherein everyone ranging from the teaching as well as non-teaching staff to the students is suffering due to the apathy and ineptitude of the Delhi government, is entrusted with the Union government,' he added.

The 'Chalo Dilli Sachivalaya' or 'March to Delhi Secretariat' protest was stopped by the police from reaching the secretariat building. The agitating students held a sit-in outside the secretariat and highlighted the adverse impact of the order on the interests of the student community.

While the SSF corpus, which is entirely constituted from the fees charged from students, is meant for funding the various student societies in colleges, the unspent amount is to be utilised only for the purpose of student welfare. According to University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines, any deficit spending in the colleges under its management is to be exclusively financed by the Delhi government.

Delhi University Students' Union (DUSU) president Akshit Dahiya said, 'Students undoubtedly get affected when teachers remain uncompensated. However, nothing can warrant the misuse by the Delhi government of the funds that rightfully belong to the students of the university. In the face of continuing government indifference, we will approach the Delhi High Court, seeking immediate nullification of this anti-student directive. We will not allow even a single paisa from the SSF to be appropriated towards discharging the existing liabilities.' A senior police official said 53 protesters were detained, taken to the IP Estate police station and released later.

The Delhi government on Friday directed the 12 Delhi University (DU) colleges fully funded by it to pay the outstanding salaries of the staff from the SSF, a move criticised by the university's teachers' body and officials.

It has ordered a special audit of six colleges -- Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College, Maharishi Valmiki B.Ed College, Keshav Mahavidyalaya, Aditi Mahavidyalaya, Bhagini Nivedita College and Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies.

The city government and the 12 colleges are locked in a tussle over the release of grants, with the latter saying they have not paid the salaries of the staff for nearly three months owing to non-release of funds. PTI GJS AMP RC