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Buck stops with state govt

punjab Updated: Apr 13, 2013 00:18 IST
Ravinder Vasudev

The Punjab government is shying away from paying its part of the expenses of running the new constituent colleges of three universities.

Seven new constituent colleges of Punjabi University here and more opened under Panjab University, Chandigarh, and Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU), Amritsar, 15 in all, are short of money for expansion to achieve the national gross enrolment ratio (GER) target average in higher education.

University Grants Commission (UGC) had identified 374 districts in the country where the GER in higher education was below the national average. The central assistance for the improvement scheme, paid through the UGC, is limited to Rs 2.67 crore for each college in the selected districts. The states are required to bear the remaining capital cost and the recurring expenses.

This money required from the state government is about Rs 1.5 crore a year for each college but ever since the institutions came into existence in 2011, the government has paid it only once. “The secretary of finance and the directorate of public instructions (colleges) declined to pay further money on the ground that it was only a one-time settlement, not a monthly-aid arrangement,” said AS Chawla, registrar of Punjabi University, Patiala.

“Many times, we have written to the state government for the amount promised to us under broad understanding,” said Chawla. “Not a penny has been received for the year 2012-13.”

Similar is the position of new colleges opened under Panjab University (PU) and the GNDU. The PU vice-chancellor had accepted last month that in the absence of the grant from the state, these colleges were on the verge of closure and surviving on help from the universities.

In Patiala, the annual budget of Punjabi University for the year 2013-14 shows deficit because of the expenditure on new colleges. “We are somehow managing,” said the Punjabi University registrar. “It will be difficult sustain it, if the state government fails to cooperate.”

DPI (colleges) Tarsem Dhaliwal declined to comment on the issue.

New colleges
15 opened in 13 districts (Bathinda, Mansa, Patiala, Fatehgarh Sahib, Nawanshahr, Ferozepur, Amritsar, Sangrur, Gurdaspur, Muktsar, Moga, Faridkot, and Kapurthala).

6 out of 15 being looked after by Punjabi University, Patiala

4 under Panjab University, Chandigarh

5 controlled by Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar

Money due
Rs 1.5 cr to be paid every year for each college