Panjab University can live but not grow: Col GS Chadha (retd) | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Panjab University can live but not grow: Col GS Chadha (retd)

Panjab University (PU) is sustaining itself somehow but has little resources for further development and expansion. The estimated revenue receipt for this financial year is more than Rs 153 crore, while the expenditure, including salaries and benefits is about Rs 442 crore.

chandigarh Updated: Dec 14, 2014 15:42 IST
Vinod Kumar

Panjab University (PU) is sustaining itself somehow but has little resources for further development and expansion.

The estimated revenue receipt for this financial year is more than Rs 153 crore, while the expenditure, including salaries and benefits is about Rs 442 crore. The deficit stands at Rs 288 crore, of which University Grants Commission (UGC) has promised it only Rs 176 crore.

The PU had submitted a requirement of Rs 206 crore under the revised estimates for the year 2014-15. Dashing its hopes, the UGC has declined to enhance this provision. The matter is with the human resource development ministry for review. More money was required for infrastructure and student facilities, said PU registrar Colonel GS Chadha (retd), adding: “If our budget is not revised, it will have impact on our growth.”

Salary bill a huge drain

Finance and development officer (FDO) Vikram Nayyar said a bulk of the funds went into settling the salary bill, which is swelling every year. “There is no assured money for maintenance and new infrastructure,” he said. Owing to fund crunch, the university had scrapped a 100-bedded hospital project worth Rs 200 crore recently at Dr Harvansh Singh Judge Institute of Dental Sciences.

The same reason continues to delay the multi-purpose auditorium project and implementation of the widow pension scheme. In a statement issued on December 11, vice-chancellor Arun Kumar Grover had acknowledged that the university would need to generate revenue to sustain growth.

Last year, it was forced to impose 15% cut on the budget provisions, excluding salary, medical assistance, water charges, electricity, books and journals. Its annual budgeted expenditure and income for the financial year 2013-14 was Rs 344 crore and Rs 155 crore, respectively.

“In spite of the fund issue, the PU continues to do well in research, which has made it one of the best in the country,” said Panjab University Teachers Association (PUTA) member Akshaya Kumar.

Unique character

Panjab University is an inter-state university, with Punjab being the only other state now involved. Earlier, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana also had a stake in it.

In 1976, the Indian government approved 60:40 as the formula for maintenance-deficit sharing between the Centre (through the Chandigarh administration) and the state (Punjab), respectively.

Initially, Punjab restricted its share of maintenance grant to Rs 16 crore, but revised it to Rs 20 crore subsequently, irrespective of its actual share on the basis of the agreed ratio. The Centre, later, agreed to fund the university through the UGC after adjusting the Punjab contribution and the surplus from self-financing courses.