After receiving Rs 26 crore as funds from the University Grants Commission (UGC) on March 31 this year Panjab University (PU) is expecting an amount of Rs 100 crore from the UGC this month to fulfil the budgetary requirements of the varsity.
The PU registrar met the officials of the union ministry of human resource development (MHRD) and University Grants Commission (UGC) and submitted the requirements, which would enable the varsity to disburse the salaries of staff, release of research grants, medical bill reimbursement and even take care of recruitments.
The PU registrar, Col GS Chadha (retd), said, “I recently met the officials of the MHRD and UGC and told them that our requirement is Rs 100 crore so that we could take care of our expenditure for the next three-four months. We are expecting an intimation this week about the release of the amount, although we are not sure what amount they will be releasing. This month, some amount of fund will be released.”
“If we receive Rs 100 crore this month, we would require Rs 100 crore more from the ministry as per our budgetary requirements,” he added.
Commenting on it vice-chancellor professor Arun Kumar Grover said, “Let us hope that our requirement is fulfilled. This amount was the first installment in July 2014-15 when the total release was Rs 176 crore.”
Professor Akshaya Kumar, president of Panjab University Teachers’ Association (PUTA) said, “If we do not get this amount of Rs 100 crore we may have to face a lot of problems and disbursal of salaries for the entire staff will become difficult in the months of June and July. We would need money for the infrastructure of colleges, among other many issues to take care of.”
“It is fixed that we will get the funds worth Rs 176 crore and now if we get this amount in total or in installments, we would still be short in terms of our requirements to the tune of Rs 60-70 crore. I believe the varsity is still not geared up to meet its requirements on its own. There is a kind of sluggishness on everyone’s part here,” he added.
Professor Akshaya also said at the PUTA meeting held recently it was decided that the teachers’ body will organise a seminar on the financial conditions of Panjab University (PU) on the campus soon.
Panjab University is already staring at its worst financial crisis as the financial year 2015-16 had ended with a deficit of Rs 41 crore even after receiving a partial grant worth Rs 26 crore on the last day of FY 2015-16 on March 31.
For 2015-16, the Panjab University budget deficit has been Rs 278.55 crore but it has received Rs 182 crore in the current session including Rs 150 crore which was the first grant released in January followed by Rs 6 crore released by the Punjab government and then Rs 26 crore released by the University Grants Commission (UGC) on March 31, 2016.