The Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) has spent more money on tea and photostat than on seminars, lectures or cultural events in 2016-17.

This is what the DUSU, the students’ union of one of the country’s topmost universities, revealed in response to an RTI of November 2017. Out of the total Rs 2,620,000 that was released as its budget for 2016-17, Rs 2,178,000 were spent on tea, photostat, repairs, maintenance and others, which are collectively regarded as “Miscellaneous” under budget heads.

The RTI further revealed that DUSU spent Rs 72,600 on sports, Rs 48,400 on debate, seminars, lectures and symposiums, while Rs 1,21,000 was spent on cultural events and Rs 200,000 on staff salary.

However, while the 2016-17 budget of DUSU was drawn up by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the current 2017-18 budget has been drawn up by the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI). NSUI’s Kunal Sehrawat, the current DUSU vice-president, said that the current budget will spend only Rs 22 on tea.

Sehrawat said, “Under the miscellaneous head of the budget we have allocated Rs 240,000 which will look after our maintenance, photostat expenses etc. We have separately allocated only Rs 22 for tea which will be used when somebody as important as the Vice-Chancellor decides to come to our office.”

DUSU’s budget for the year 2017-18 is Rs 2,590,000, out of which NSUI has allocated Rs 400,000 to sports and other activities, Rs 40,000 for awareness programmes, Rs 80,000 for persons with disabilities, Rs 500,000 for debates, lectures, symposiums etc., Rs 60,000 for gender sensitisation, Rs 360,000 for newspapers and magazines, Rs 69,978 for SC/ST welfare, while Rs 250,000 will be spent on staff salaries.

DUSU’s budget is based on the number of students who took admissions in the university in a year. This year, close to 130,000 took admissions in DU. The DUSU budget is finalised after a round of meetings conducted with presidents of the 52 colleges that are part of DUSU.

These meetings are monitored by the treasurer and the teacher in-charge which are both appointed by the university. The unspent balance of DUSU’s budget in the year 2014-15 was Rs 42,508, for the year 2015-16, it was Rs 4,902 and the unspent balance in 2016-17 was Rs 33,242 which has been carried forward to the current academic session’s budget.

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