PU Financial Crisis Continues; (Why Not) Shut PU Down Today, HC Slams UGC

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Panjab University, Chandigarh is under some very serious financial crisis for long now. After surfacing of reports in the month of September, students in the campus and other colleges took it as a banter and so did everyone else. It was believed that the state and the central government along with the UGC and MHRD would join hands and sanction funds for the university, which according to various reports and polls is tagged as the best in the country. However, nothing of that sort happened. In fact, the Punjab and Haryana High Court went on to slam UGC by saying, “You can ask the students to shift to any other university, when you don’t want to give funds. Shut it down today, why wait for three months?”

The state government has had no say and on the other hand the centre looked away. The MHRD according to reports has said that the university must make up for its deficit in the upcoming three years and the amount to make up is an astounding 101 crores. For this to be done, the fees from the next academic session will be raised and even the staff will face problems in getting paid.

“How to survive financially for next four months. This is a big issue for Panjab University. In fact, teachers should be ready to work for next three months (till March) in this semester without pay if no additional funds are given to the university”, Vice Chancellor Arun Kumar Grover said.

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has allotted Rs. 44 crores. Although the amount is considerably less but that is all Panjab University has been given to make ends meet. The varsity has stated that the said amount will be used to pay pensions and salaries for the months of December and January.

Out of the 176 crores given to the university for 2016-17, Rs. 132 crores have been spent for allotting salaries up to November. The state government has been giving its prime institute an amount of Rs. 20 crores which definitely does not help in making ends meet.

The shortage of funds has been experienced due to a number of reasons. Congress-backed Senators have blamed the Centre for not granting funds while others have said that the varsity should handle funds better. The MHRD announced a cut of 25% in the grants for higher education which further resulted in a 17% cut in the UGC’s budget. Out of the 17% a whopping 9% came in.

The PUCSC has taken a stand and taken out numerous strikes to inform the students about the financial crisis. Even the teachers and non-teaching staff of the University has regularly protested against the concerned authorities.

The burden now lays on the students who will have to submit higher fees from the 2017-18 batch. It might result in no new research projects being undertaken. This star institution of the state will suffer to a large extent in this manner. It is sad to see the institute which is also celebrating for being the alma mater for the next CJI, weeping for lack of funds.

About the Author:

Kshitij Bhargava (SD College 32)

Kshitij Bhargava
(SD College 32)

Student of Economic honors and journalism. A big time football fan. Loves live rock music, progressive rock. Travelling is the best and easiest way to find happiness.

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