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DU teachers on strike over non-payment of salaries

September 17, 2020

On Wednesday, September 16, Delhi University teachers commenced a three-day strike over alleged non-payment of salaries of teaching and non-teaching staff in Delhi government-funded colleges.

The strike call has been given by the Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA), which has been voicing concerns over delay in grants to 12 Delhi government-funded colleges.

Mahaveer Genwa, who teaches Chemistry at Deen Dayal Upadhyay College, said he last received his salary in April. “All our backup and savings have been exhausted. Teachers have used their fixed deposits or taken personal loans for their everyday expenses,” he said, adding he will participate in the strike from Wednesday.

Eight DU teachers have also approached the Delhi High Court, seeking directions to the authorities to pay pending salaries to around 1,500 teaching and non-teaching staff in these colleges. The petition is likely to come up for hearing on September 17.

“Funds have been released to six (out of the 12) colleges that are fully funded by the Delhi government. However, there have been complaints of financial irregularities in the remaining six, because of which their accounts are currently being audited. Serious financial irregularities have surfaced in the audit process. Without the completion of the audit, more funds from the public exchequer cannot be released to these colleges,” the Delhi government said in response to queries sent by HT.

Genwa, president of the staff association at the college, said, “Expenses have been piling up with no relief in sight. Many of us have school-going children who haven’t been able to pay their fee or our rent. Our landlords have threatened to evict us. We don’t have any hope from the strike but there is nothing else we can do.”

DUTA treasurer Abha Dev Habib said around 2,000 such employees and their families “are suffering for no fault of theirs”.

Last month, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia had said around 23 percent of the funds allocated for 2020-21 had been released. He said the “inability of Delhi government-funded DU colleges to pay staff salaries despite a 70 percent increase in budget allocation in the last five years indicated corruption” – a claim denied by the DU administration.

Source: Hindustan Times

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