The plight and sufferings of 12 hundred percent funded Delhi Government Colleges of University of Delhi expose the ugly face of implementation of National Education Policy, where both the Central Government and the State Government have been displaying unity of purpose and convergence of approach. It started with expansionist policy of BJP-RSS to grab the control of educational institution and the university administration, who toeing this line, denied the extension of Governing Bodies (GB) of these colleges, then tried delaying the formation and packing the university panel with the political nominees. In this whole process, the university rule book was totally ignored. For instance, Executive Council of Delhi University provides for an APEX Committee to oversee the GB formation, which was not formed. The AamAadmi Party (AAP) Government responded by stopping the fund of these colleges, which cannot be justified. The formation of GB and funding cannot be linked as it penalizes the students, employees and teachers of the colleges. Even the development of the colleges suffers badly. The scholarships of the students are not getting disbursed, irregular and delayed salaries to the teachers and employees is causing serious hardships to their families and the infrastructural developments have halted. Even the covid crisis has not altered the situation and medical bills and retirement benefits have been pending for years. Later, Department of Higher Education of Delhi Government directed these colleges to prepare their budget in ‘deficit mode’, which means the colleges are to raise the resources on their own and the government will only fund the deficit. This will lead to steep hike in students fees, adversely affecting the SC, ST, OBC and EWS students. This is a move in the direction of privatization as envisaged by the NEP 2020.
As NEP undermines the statutory bodies like Academic Council and Executive Council of the universities, we have seen the same thing happening in this whole crisis. EC has passed the resolution for the takeover of these colleges by the UGC twice, but the Central Government remained a mute spectator. Secondly, NEP is a policy of ‘tall ends with little means’ as the budgetary allocation on education has been witnessing sharp decline and severe cut during the present regime. The promise of opening 20 new colleges every year by AAP has been proved hollow.Both the dispensations – of BJP and that of AAP are shifting the burden of higher education on the students. Thirdly, in order to quell the protesting voices from the campuses, there have been efforts to impose ESMA by the Central Government and Central Services (CCS) Rules by the Delhi government.
The Author is Former President DUTA & FEDCUTA