December 14, 2016 5:34:48 am
PANJAB UNIVERSITY Vice-Chancellor Arun Kumar Grover on Tuesday said that he does not want to build castles in the air, but is just trying to ensure the bare minimum for survival is in place. The varsity is going through a financial crisis, with money for paying salaries to the employees for this month not being available. On the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), University Grants Commission (UGC) and the PU V-C will be holding a meeting in New Delhi to sort out the issue.
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The meeting that was earlier scheduled to take place on December 14 has now been postponed by a day.
Talking to Chandigarh Newsline, Grover said, “For this financial year, we have a shortage of Rs 101 crore. This is over and above Rs 176 crore for which they have made an allocation for us. Even from this Rs 176 crore, Rs 44 crore is yet to be released. It is for the first time that money is being redeemed three months at a time. Three instalments have come and the fourth is yet to be received.”
“Our projected expenses for this year are such that we need a grant from the Centre which is Rs 277 crore. We need Rs 101 crore over and above what has been sanctioned. In all, we need around Rs 145 crore from the Centre,” he said.
The salary bill of the varsity is Rs 35 crore per month. In four months an amount of Rs 140 crore will be required while there is a shortage of Rs 145 crore, as per the university authorities. PU has in the High Court submitted that there is no money with the varsity to pay salaries for December to March.
The PU Think Tank that was constituted by the V-C had given several suggestions for the varsity to generate its finances. The members of the Think Tank had recommended a fee hike from the academic session starting July 2016. A hike in the tuition fees and examination fees was proposed. Amidst opposition by the students as well as some members of Syndicate and Senate, examination fees were hiked.
Grover said, “All the suggestions of the Think Tank cannot be implemented at once. They have to happen sequentially. We said we will enhance the income of university at a certain rate. Whatever we were to enhance, this year we have already done that. We have to enhance it next year as well. But we can go to the next year only if we survive this year.”
He added, “We asked students to pay more on the premise that government will release more in order to balance the books. Students are unhappy that we increased the fees. If the government does not give anything corresponding to it then the university closes down. Next year how will we go to the students and say that there should be more enhancement of fees?”
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