A communication timeline note—in possession of The Sunday Guardian—showing the exchange of communication between the Delhi government’s Directorate of Higher Education (DHE) and the Delhi University administration, has revealed how the university administration, despite repeated reminders, did not appoint the governing bodies in its 28 Delhi government funded colleges for over a year.

According to the timeline note of the Delhi government, the DHE, which comes under the education department of the Delhi government, headed by Manish Sisodia, in its first letter dated 16 September 2016, had asked the university administration to send the panel of names for appointment of governing bodies in 28 Delhi government funded colleges. The university administration did not send a reply to this.

After repeated reminders, on 14 February this year, the DU administration sent a list of names to the Delhi government. When the Delhi government sent back the list for approval of the Executive Council (EC) of DU, the DU administration, citing wrong format, asked the Delhi government to send the names in the “correct format”. Even after a year of communication, the DU administration did not bother to appoint the governing bodies in its 28 Delhi government funded colleges.

“I am deeply shocked by the callousness of the DU administration on the issue, as 28 government funded colleges have had truncated governing bodies since October 2016. Since the term of the governing bodies ended, the university administration has sat on the formation of new governing bodies in these colleges,” Manish Sisodia has said in the communication timeline note.

“This is the first time that the governing bodies in these colleges were not given a three-month extension and that, too, despite the fact that the delay was caused by the DU administration,” Sisodia said in the note.

“The entire sequence of events from September 2016 onwards seems to indicate a deliberate and malafide attempt to delay the formation of governing bodies in the colleges funded by the Delhi government. The malafide intention is evident in that the governing bodies in these colleges are being delayed at a time when the process of ad hoc and regular appointments is going on,” Sisodia alleged.

Acting on the delay in appointment of governing bodies, the Delhi government on 31 July this year ordered a freeze on funding of 28 DU colleges either fully or partially funded by it. The DU, however, assured the government that the governing bodies in all 28 colleges will be formed within a month.

Alleging that corruption was the intent behind the failure to set up governing bodies, Sisodia said in the note: “I cannot allow unchecked corruption and irregularities to be sustained on Delhi government funds in the name of education.”

Sisodia not only stopped the funding of the 28 colleges, but also wrote to the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), demanding an audit of 28 DU colleges, wholly or partially funded by the state government, after receiving complaints of corruption against them.

Responding to the government’s move, the university wrote a letter, promising the formation of the governing bodies. “We have written to the Delhi government and assured that the governing bodies for all the 28 colleges will be formed in August. The list of panelists (forming the bodies) has been formed by the Executive Council of the university,” Rajesh Jha, an elected EC member of DU, said.

However, criticising the Delhi government’s move of freezing funding to 28 colleges, Jha said: “The college, teachers and students have no role in the formation of the governing bodies; therefore, they should not be punished.” DU teachers have questioned the silence of Vice Chancellor Yogesh Tyagi in the matter.

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