Now, MHRD denies Panjab University another grant of Rs 20 crore
Panjab University (PU) vice-chancellor Arun Kumar Grover has written a protest letter to secretary, higher education, in the ministry of human resources development (MHRD), KK Sharma, after the ministry has denied Rs 20 crore to the varsity. The money is a plan grant under Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) to the varsity.punjab Updated: Apr 08, 2017 12:41 IST
Panjab University (PU) vice-chancellor Arun Kumar Grover has written a protest letter to secretary, higher education, in the ministry of human resources development (MHRD), KK Sharma, after the ministry has denied Rs 20 crore to the varsity. The money is a plan grant under Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) to the varsity.
In the letter, the V-C describes the denial of funds as ‘Travesty of Justice’.
The issue comes close on the heels of the ministry not enhancing the non-plan grants to Panjab University (PU) from which salaries are paid to employees.
Why were funds denied?
The Project Approval Board of RUSA said, on February 6, “PU is an inter-state body and is already receiving funds from MHRD, through the UGC as deficit funding.”
‘PU listed as a state university’
The V-C added that the denial of grant had stalled the construction of two tower blocks for imparting classes under Choice Based Credit System (CBCS). “Prof AK Bhandari had formed the proposal for RUSA grant. Smart classrooms were to be constructed had the grant been approved,” said the V-C.
According to VC, UT Chandigarh is being treated as a state while disbursing RUSA funds for development needs of colleges and university campuses.
“PU is currently designated as an Inter-State Body Corporate, the only university to have such a status in the Indian system. We are listed under the category of state universities on the UGC website,” he said.
PU’s rejoinder to RUSA board
After the objection came from Project Approval Board of RUSA initially, the PU submitted on February 9 that they were an interstate body as per the Punjab Reorganisation Act. This simply met, the PU said, that the stake holders were more than one state.
It said that PU was receiving funds from MHRD only as deficit grant whereas the purpose of RUSA is to provide funds not to cover non-plan deficit but to provide funds for development. It had requested for reconsideration.
The plan grant which PU receives from UGC under five-year Plan is as per norms applicable to state universities and are not as per norms of central universities, which entitles them to a much higher development grant under plan.
It was submitted that other state universities which received plan grants from UGC, similar to PU quantum, were indeed eligible for receiving grants under RUSA; hence PU should also receive the same. The MHRD is yet to reply.
Though colleges in Chandigarh have been granted funds under RUSA. “Guru Nanak Dev University(GNDU) and Punjabi University have also got it,” the V-C said.
Money was meant for lecture theatres
According to the V-C, two 4-storey complexes were to come with each having 8-10 lecture theatres for imparting lectures under Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) and MSc-PhD programme. These lecture theatres, equipped with audio and video facilities, were to have seating capacity of 125-150 students each. A total of Rs 12 crore was to be spent on it. Besides, there was a proposal for digitisation of library and modernisation of laboratories of old departments of PU like Physics, Chemistry, Pharmacy.