National

Staff donate for PMNRF, DU redirects money to PM-CARES

DU official says ₹4.04 crore transferred to new fund on directions of HRD ministry

After an appeal for donations to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) from the University Grants Commission and the Delhi University, one day’s worth of DU staff salaries were deducted for this purpose. However, the DU Vice Chancellor Yogesh Tyagi has now said that the collected money — amounting to more than ₹4 crore — was sent to the PM-CARES Fund instead.

Also read: Congress questions setting up of PM CARES Fund to deal with coronavirus

The change was made on the basis of direction from the Ministry of Human Resource Development, according to a senior DU official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “After the DU registrar’s appeal had gone out, we subsequently received a communication from MHRD, and were asked to send the money to PM-CARES,” the official, who confirmed that ₹4.04 crore had been transferred to the new fund, told The Hindu.

Also read: Coronavirus outbreak | Ramachandra Guha slams creation of PM CARES Fund

“There should not be any misleading from official sources,” remarked Mithuraaj Dhusiya, an assistant professor at Hans Raj College. “Why was it suddenly changed? And if it was changed, then at the very least, staff should have been informed so that we are aware of where our money is going,” he added.

With a number of staff expressing outrage over the shift, the Delhi University Teachers’ Association wrote to the VC on Monday, objecting to the “acts of misdirection”.

“Historically, we have provided financial assistance to the PMNRF or Chief Minister’s Relief Fund either through local Staff Associations or through the Vice Chancellor’s Relief Fund (as in the present case),” DUTA said in a letter. “This has efficiently worked out most times because of trust and transparency between the employee, college and the University. It is extremely unfortunate to note that in the present case, this transparency has been violated,” the teachers’ association added. “It is totally unacceptable that an appeal is made by the university for contributions under one head (PMNRF) and in reality the contribution is submitted to another head (PM-CARES). Such acts of misdirection shake our faith in the professional working of the university.”

Also read: Why PM CARES Fund when there is PMNRF, asks CPI(M) MP

The original appeal for contributions for COVID-19 relief was sent by UGC chairman D.P. Singh on March 28. “We, at UGC, have decided to make a humble contribution of One Day Salary to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund. I appeal to the Vice Chancellors of the Universities and Directors/Principals of Institutes/Colleges to urge the teaching and non-teaching colleagues of their institutions to come forward and contribute for this noble cause,” wrote Prof. Singh.

The following day, DU’s acting registrar sent a letter to all university departments and colleges, asking them “to submit their contributions to Vice-Chancellor’s Relief Fund for making a consolidated contribution from the same to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund by the university.”

However, a recent letter from the DU VC to university alumni, posted on the university’s website, indicates that the destination of those donations has changed. “The faculty and staff members of all departments and constituent colleges of the university have collectively contributed their one-day’s salary, amounting to more than four crore rupees, to the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund,” wrote Prof. Tyagi.

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Printable version | Jun 1, 2020 2:20:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/staff-donate-for-pmnrf-du-redirects-money-to-pm-cares/article31390753.ece

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