Panjab University (PU), Chandigarh, is hopeful of receiving grants from the Centre by this month. This was stated by PU vice-chancellor (V-C) prof Arun Kumar Grover, who met the higher officials of University Grants Commission (UGC) on Friday.
“The grants will not be delayed any more by the ministry of human resource development (MHRD)/UGC. The MHRD is already concerned about the difficulty being faced by PU in releasing salaries and pension to teachers and other staff members,” the VC said.
It is pertinent to mention here that PU has not received a single penny from the central government this year. The university has not been able to pay dearness allowance (DA) and medical bills of the employees are stuck.
The retirement benefits have also been held back and it is unable to pay salaries to its employees for October.
After a complaint by Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in April, the MHRD had formed a fact-finding committee, and grants to the university have been held up since then. The committee had asked the university to submit its accounts by merging the income for sports and hostel funds in the revised format in the budget, which was not earlier being done, and the university cooperated with the submission of the revised budget estimates. The PU was also asked to start double entry system that has also been cleared by the Senate.
When asked about fresh demand being raised, the V-C said, “All the directions have been complied with. A number of documents submitted by us are voluminous, so they want them in a summarised format so that a report could be submitted.” “In the July meeting, they called for our balance sheets. We submitted them. Then they asked to get it passed from board of finance (BoF). We got it passed. Then they asked us to get it passed from syndicate and from the Senate also. We got it done,” the V-C replied, when asked whether the UGC was changing the goalpost every time.
“We have asked for Rs 150 crore in the first instalment. We are expecting adequate amount equivalent to PU’s liabilities till September 30,” he said.
Dean Students Welfare (DSW) prof Navdeep Goyal, who had also gone to meet the MHRD officials, said, “We have met the officials and the response is positive. All the issues raised by the MHRD have been settled. Now, we are just being asked to file the compliance of their directions in a particular format.”
“We are happy that our concerns are redressed at the top level and administration is proactive to deal with the issue of central grants. The recent visit of V-C and other officials to the MHRD/UGC has given us hope that things are moving in the positive direction. The only purpose of convening general body meeting of teachers’ association seems to have paid off,” said Panjab University Teachers Association president prof Akshaya Kumar.