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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Sep 2014

PU wakes up to misuse of fund

Jyotsna Jalali, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, March 31, 2013
First Published: 23:42 IST(31/3/2013) | Last Updated: 23:58 IST(31/3/2013)

Panjab University (PU) has finally woken up to the misuse of security lapse fund by its departments. University authorities on Sunday said that they were now planning to frame rules for spending money from such a fund.

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PU vice-chancellor Arun Grover said this a day after HT had reported on how the university's department of evening studies had misused the security lapse fund by purchasing seven laptops, costing Rs. 44,000 each, for as many faculty members, including a retired professor.   The security lapse fund is money which many students fail to get refund of once they complete their courses. The money is deposited as refundable security by students at the time of admission.

Though department chairperson Vijay Chopra had earlier said there was nothing wrong in purchasing laptops for faculty members, university V-C on Sunday said there was a need to frame rules for using money from such funds.

"This university is old and, for years now, this fund has been spent like this," Grover said. He defended the department of evening studies chairperson, saying:  "He did not do anything different. However, I agree that the fund could have been spent in a better way. I will look into it. Certainly, there is a need to have norms on how such a fund is used."

Meanwhile, sources in the department of evening studies also informed that the department had received a Rs. 30 lakh grant. Six air conditioners (Acs) -one for the chairperson's office - had been bought from this grant.

The source said the Acs had been installed at various places in the department, though no permission from the electricity department had been sought for the same. "We don't even know if any of these ACs will work or not. There's a possibility that the electricity grid may collapse," the source, who is a senior faculty member of the department, said.

The source said that while the department has spent money on the purchase of expensive items for its faculty members, there is a lack of facilities for the students. "There is no reading room for the students. There are no journals or even newspapers for them. Classrooms are in a bad shape, with no proper blackboards," the source said.

Apart from the laptops, the department had also bought an LED television of Rs. 78,000 for the chairperson's room. Also, 15 chairs costing Rs. 6,500 each were also bought for the chairperson's room.

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