The University of Mumbai (MU) has announced a Rs639.54 crore budget for the financial year 2016-17. For the first time in five years, the budget also shows a surplus of Rs63.67 crore.
The varsity is expected to recover an estimated Rs150 crore from the state government and affiliated colleges.
While the university officials were unable to provide the break up of the exact dues, vice chancellor Sanjay Deshmukh said the colleges owe at least Rs50 crore in form of affiliation fees, whereas the government is yet to give around Rs100 crore towards salary grants.
While refusing to call the income from state government a “recovery”, Deshmukh said, “For the past few years, the state government has been giving 75% of the total amount required for salaries, with the remaining expenses borne by the varsity. We hope that the state will give us the due amount.” He blamed the delay in payment of affiliation fees on the laxity of the colleges as well as varsity officials.
MU has announced a slew of new initiatives to spend the bigger budget. With his eyes set on making PM Narendra Modi’s Skill India and Digital India a success, the focus, this year, said Deshmukh, was to make higher education accessible to students from all parts of the state and country.
Criticising the move, a university official said, “The amount spent on affiliated colleges was drawn from non-plan expenditure. You cannot spend the money on something it was not appropriated for.” The money under non-plan head is meant for meeting regular expenditure such as salaries of the employees.
The official was also sceptical about the recovery of dues from the government. “Normally, it was understood that the state will not be able to release the pending amount. Hence, it was usually not made a part of the budget. The vice chancellor should have written off the amount, but apparently he wants to take credit for a surplus budget,” he said.