Accusing the top brass of Panjab University (PU) of indulging in corruption, the student wing of Bhartiya Janta Party- Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP)- shot another letter to the Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD) on October 25 demanding criminal proceedings against PU’s officials.
ABVP had also approached the MHRD in April and had accused university’s officials of mishandling and misappropriating funds. A fact finding committee was formed after the complaint and PU’s grants were frozen.
The latest letter written by ABVP demands, “Immediate registration of criminal proceedings under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against the top hierarchy of PU for having actively connived and wilfully conspired to loot and plunder the central government/ public exchequer on purely false deficit claims…”
This time, however, PU vice-chancellor (V-C) Arun Kumar Grover is confident that the complaint will not have any impact on their grants.
“I had a word with the officials of the University Grants Commission (UGC), who assured me that the process of releasing our grants is underway. I had a word with the officials concerned about ABVP’s letter also and am confident that it will not affect our grants,”Grover said.
Varsity facing financial crisis
While the vice-chancellor was confident about getting the grants, the teachers are worried if they will get their salaries or not.
PU’s financial crisis was a major topic of discussion during Panjab University Teachers Association’s (PUTA) General Body Meeting (GBM), which was held on Thursday.
In his opening remarks, PUTA president Prof Akshaya Kumar updated the teachers about the status of the grant. “After a meeting held on October 21 (between PU and MHRD) we were optimistic about the ministry approving 25% of our grants. But till date there is no news from the ministry. I requested V-C to seek some sort of clarification, but the reply that he got was not very categorical.”
He added that when the vice-chancellor approached the UGC officials to know about the status of the grant he was told that official concerned was leave till October 30.
The GBM was of the opinion that Panjab University did not deserve this kind of treatment and that the University was being unnecessarily harassed.
It was decided that if the grant was not released the teachers of the University would go on the path of agitation in a phased manner from mid-November onwards.