Panjab University (PU) vice-chancellor (V-C) Prof Arun Kumar Grover on Friday said the Union ministry of human resource and development (MHRD) has been asking the university to cut down on staff by around 300-400.
Talking on financial crunch on the sidelines of a press conference on social science congress, Grover said: “We have been told to cut down the non-teaching staff by 300-400 and only then the would be met. Right now, we are making assessment of the staff through a manpower audit. We cannot cut down it drastically. We will do it gradually otherwise the functioning of university would suffer. We should be seen following the directives of the MHRD.”
“We are not increasing our daily wage staff. No regularisation of staff will take place now,” he added. He said soon a roundtable conference with the MHRD officials would take place. “Last time, I told them we have formed a manpower audit committee to look into their directive of reducing the staff,” he said.
Most of the non-teaching staff that could face the axe are daily wagers. Their number is around 750. Along with regular staff, total non-teaching staff is around 3,200.
“We should actually focus on regularising those daily wagers who have been working for the the last 10 years. These people are now over-age for starting other jobs,” said Deepak Kaushik of the PU Non-Teaching Employees Federation.
The V-C, however, hinted that ‘consolidation’ of some departments could happen. “We have been evaluating workload of teachers also,” he added. Providing a ray of hope, he said, the Chandigarh administration had included the PU, along with affiliated colleges in the city, under the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA). It will generate funds of around Rs 200 crore. Out of which Rs100 crore could come to the PU. But there is proper evaluation for it. It cannot be given blindly, he added.
The total revenue generation of the PU is Rs 199.61 crore, which includes income from sports and hostel, while the expenditure is Rs 478.17 crore, a deficit of Rs 278.55 crore. The university has only got Rs 147 crore as central assistance. The second instalment is still awaited.