MumbaiIn its first open senate after three years, the University of (MU) presented a budget of Rs572.6 crore for the academic year 2018-19. This is the first open budget, as the senate comprises of elected and nominated members, unlike last two years where the senate members were all ad hoc. However, the university once again failed to achieve its target of generating surplus. Instead, it showed a deficit of Rs51.1 crore for 2018-19. Owing to paucity of time, the budget will be discussed by the senate on Saturday before it is passed unanimously.Some of the highlights of the budget include construction of a new museum complex and convention centre, new hostels for girls, quarters for teaching and non-teaching staff, digitisation of records and manuscripts from heritage library of the varsity.“Several projects and works of students from various art and architecture colleges and other institutes get dumped at the end of the year. We have decided to build a place that can house these works under one roof,” said Devanand Shinde, acting vice-chancellor of MU. Budgetary provision for the project is Rs3.5 crore. Shinde added the museum will work as a place to showcase the talent and ideas of students to outsiders. The purpose of the convention centre will be to hold exhibits and other workshops which can accommodate thousands of people. “The university is growing and so should our infrastructure,” he said. All new constructions will come up at the university’s Kalina campus. The budget also makes way for a common student placement cell, which will also be set up at the Kalina campus. “This cell will be open to the students of all [Mumbai university] affiliated colleges,” said Shinde. The MU has set aside Rs2 crore for staff quarters [100 rooms] and Rs3 crore to build girls hostel [500 rooms]. Although the senate lacked time to discuss the budget on Friday, many objected to receiving the proposed budget agenda less than 24 hours before the meeting. “This has given us no time to study the budget and share our concerns. Even worse, the university is tabling its budget after the government finished discussing the state budget. How does the university proposes to get state approvals for its budget now?” asked a senate member. Moreover, names of 10 student senate representatives were announced on Thursday — a day before the senate meeting. “We will share our concerns on Saturday,” the member added.