'Privatisation and corporatisation of CUs’: Former DU EC member on the central university endowment fund

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Rajesh Jha, a former member of the Delhi University Executive Council, described the Ministry of Education’s decision to establish endowment funds in central universities as “a step toward privatisation and selling off of universities.” The Ministry of Education recently released “The Guidelines for Central University Endowment Fund,” instructing universities to set up accounts and the CUEF board to solicit donations and make investments.

“Another concrete step by MoE towards privatisation & sell-off of the universities in the guise of endowment fund – 1. CUs forced to define targets,” Jha wrote in a tweet after sharing the guidelines. 2. Private players will access CUs’ money management in the donors’ names 3. Corporation of CUs (6th point).

Jha claimed that private industries will oversee the financing of central universities on behalf of the funders. The sixth point in the MoE guidelines, which reads, “The Governing Board of the Endowment Fund may decide on how the Fund will be Managed and the Need to Open a New Section 8 Company or Trust,” was what he was referring to. The vice chancellor will serve as the chairman (ex-officio) of the board of this corporation or trust if the latter option is chosen, corporatizing the institutions.

The rules cover things like setting up a separate bank account for donations, keeping separate and open books of accounting, investing gifts for their intended uses, etc. The Board will decide how the cash will be used and present a report at the university’s finance committee meeting.

Mayank Tewari

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