The Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) vehemently opposes UGC’s latest decision to slash its funding of 18 Trust-aided day colleges in Delhi University by 5% of the total expenditure. This decision to reduce funding has reportedly been taken on the pretext that the private trustees responsible for managing these colleges and contributing their own 5% share in expenditure have been neglecting their responsibilities for far too long. While the DUTA itself has opposed misgovernance in several of these colleges, including, notably, Hindu College and Ramjas College, it finds the UGC’s reaction inexcusable. Instead of pulling up the guilty Trusts, it has chosen to pass the burden of expenses onto students. The 7th August letter to these colleges suggests that dependency on UGC funding may be reduced through fee-hikes and increased students’ intake.
The DUTA is compelled to see malafide intent in the UGC decision as it is designed to make students suffer. Unmindful of the limited infrastructure and unhealthy student-teacher ratio prevailing in all DU colleges, the UGC has already rushed through with the CBCS. None of the DU colleges are being able to offer choices in course-selection to their students as faculty, non-teaching staff, classrooms and labs are woefully short of requirements. The decision to further reduce funding will aggravate this embarrassing situation and discourage colleges from employing more faculty or offering more courses. Fee-hikes will make these colleges inaccessible to weaker sections of students.
Ever since the Government had announced a reduction of 3900 crores from the budgetary allocation on Education earlier this year, it has tried to come up with devious and dishonest reasons to slash funding in universities and colleges.
The DUTA sees this decision to withdraw 5% funding from Trust-managed colleges as a part of the WTO-GATS-dictated Austerity measures that the Government is forcing upon public-funded institutions, in a sinister effort to ruin them and promote private universities. The DUTA urges the Government to desist from persevering in this anti-people direction and appeals to the UGC to immediately withdraw its 7th August letter.