Re-determine annual grant: PU reminds UGC after BOF meeting
Before the BOF meeting held on April 10, PU had already sent four reminders to the UGC; the first letter regarding the same was written to the commission in December last year
After the Board of Finance (BOF) meeting was held at Panjab University (PU) earlier this month, the PU authorities have sent another reminder to the University Grants Commission (UGC) to re-determine or reset the amount of annual grant received by the university, as the varsity is set to implement the revised pay scales of its teaching and non-teaching staff.
Before the BOF meeting held on April 10, the university had already sent four reminders to the UGC. The first letter regarding the same was written to UGC in December last year.
In its latest letter, the university has also sought that the annual grant received from UGC be updated and the release of a one-time additional grant for the payment of arrears.
The revised pay scales will be considered effective from January 1, 2016. PU has a recurring liability of both teaching and non-teaching employees, including pensions at ₹56.23 crore. The arrears of pay revision from January 1, 2016, including pensions will amount to ₹278.17 crore. The university needs a total ₹334.4 crore in funds for this.
After receiving the varsity’s previous letter, the UGC had written back to the university on March 22, wherein, the education officer Ravindra Kumar had said that the present arrangement of funding of PU was determined by the ministry of education (MoE) in 2017. The amount of grant to be released to the university was calculated on the basis of the actual salary expenditure in the pre-revised pay structure with a provision of 6% annual enhancement.
In its reply, the UGC had also said that there is no possibility of any further increase in the salary grant of PU at this stage. And, since then the commission has not changed its stance.
As an inter-state body corporate, PU annually receives maintenance grants from both the UGC and Punjab government. The university had written to the Punjab government before the state budget was presented this year.
In a letter written to Punjab department of higher education on March 28, the government was informed that apart from the ₹334 crore liability, there are development needs of the university which amount to ₹117.62 crore. In the 2023-2024 session a shortfall of ₹4.25 crore had been carried forward from last year. In the last reminder sent to Punjab, it was reiterated that the government has not even released the grant with 6% annual enhancement as agreed for 2022-2023.
In March 2018, the state had informed the Punjab and Haryana high court that it will be enhancing the grant to PU by 6% in the 2018-19 financial year. Thereon, it had increased the grant by 6% till 2021-22, when the enhancement was 4.81%. However, for 2022-23, no enhancement was sanctioned.