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Financial crunch at Punjabi University, grapples to pay salaries and pensions

On Friday, the teaching and non-teaching employees suspended work and staged a protest in front of the vice-chancellor’s office.

punjab Updated: Sep 15, 2018 09:15 IST
Hindustan Times, Patiala
Punjabi University,Punjab education,Punjab education department
The delayed payments to the employees have become a monthly affair in the university.(HT FILE)

The financial mess at the Punjabi University continues to deteriorate as it is now finding it hard to meet its committed expenses, including monthly salaries and pensions of its employees.

The delayed payments to the employees have become a monthly affair in the university.

On Friday, the teaching and non-teaching employees suspended work and staged a protest in front of the vice-chancellor’s office. It was only after the protest that the university released their salaries.

However, the pensioners are still waiting for their monthly pensions.

Balwinder Singh Tiwana, convener, democratic teachers council, which gave a call of protest, said the university has made it a monthly practice to delay salaries and due to that the employees are facing social and economic problems.

“The government grants had been reduced drastically during the 25 years due to neo-liberal policies. The government, which provided 100% of the salary bill in 1991-92, has reduced to only 24% of the salary bill in 2016-17,” he added.

Tiwana said now instead of government grants, the university is majorly depending on fees and funds charged from students.

He added that the teachers are ready to take up matter with the state government, but vice-chancellor professor BS Ghuman needs to act proactively.

Jaswinder Singh Brar, convener of Democratic Teachers Front (DTF), reiterated that the financial situation of the university was very bad. “The V-C is avoiding meeting the teachers and employees. The capacity to take decision is at the lowest ebb,” Brar said.

Seconding his colleague’s view, Gurnam Singh Virk, convener of Liberals Teachers’ Front, expressed that they have “failed to understand about the vision with which the V-C is running the university”. “It appears that the V-C and his team of senior officials have no vision,” Virk said.

V-C Ghuman could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.

Meanwhile, university registrar Manjit Singh Nijjar said the teachers’ salaries were disbursed on Friday, while the pensions will be released at the earliest.

“The delay usually happened as the university has to arrange and manage their finances to clear committed expenditures. The issues will be resolved soon so that the payments are paid on time in near future,” registrar said.

Varsity extends admissions date for third time

Failing to find students for many of its courses, the university has extended last date for regular admissions till September 30. The admission process had already been delayed twice in the past one and half month.

It may be mentioned that the university is already facing criticism due to its ‘haphazard admission process’.

In a circular issued on September 13, the university’s admission cell had stated that “in view of the vacant seats in several courses, the last date of admission has been extended till September 30”.

With the university campus reeling under acute shortage of interested candidates during the ongoing admissions, the situation is no better at the 10 constituent colleges, six regional centres and nine neighbourhood campuses of the university.

A senior authority, on condition of anonymity, said that overall more than 60% seats are lying vacant in the courses being run by the constituent colleges, regional centres and other neighbourhood campuses.

First Published: Sep 14, 2018 21:55 IST