Saturday, November 11, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

A Tribune investigation
Govt ‘apathy’ stunts academic growth

From K.G. Dutt
Tribune News Service

KARNAL, Nov 10 — Academic growth of colleges in Haryana is being stymied by the “apathetic attitude” of the state government. Almost all non-government colleges in the state, numbering about 100, are facing a financial crunch. A majority of these colleges have raised loans from different sources to meet their monthly and day-to-day expenditure.

The colleges are facing a shortage of funds because of irregular payment of grants-in-aid. The non-government colleges have not been paid the grants-in-aid for the past over four months. Authoritative sources told TNS that about Rs 17 crore worth of grants-in-aid was pending towards the state government. The sources disclosed that the government paid about Rs 65 crore annually as grants-in-aid to about 100-odd privately-managed colleges. The monthly grants-in-aid bill was about Rs 5.50 crore.

As a result of the non-payment of grants-in-aid, a number of colleges have not been able to pay salary to their staff for the past four months. Even during Dasehra and Divali, no payments were made to the college teachers and the non-teaching staff. “Consequently, we observed black Dasehra and Divali,” a senior teacher remarked.

Commenting on the financial crunch being faced by the privately-managed colleges, Dr Ramesh Kumar, general secretary of the Non-Government Colleges Principals Association, told this reporter that education seemed to have “no priority” in the eyes of the Haryana Government. While on the one hand, it was out to promote information technology, on the other, the government was unable to find viable means for meeting the grants-in-aid expenditure of the colleges. Dr Ramesh Kumar said this aid was not being given from any regular budgetary provision and instead, was being given from the funds of the Wages and Means Committee. He said until a proper budgetary provision was made for the aid, no permanent solution could be found to the problem.

It is learnt that Mr Om Prakash Chautala, when he took over as Chief Minister, had reduced the gap of the grants-in-aid payment to one month only. However, it has gone up to five months again.

The result of the non-payment of the grants-in-aid is that education in colleges is suffering. Some colleges have to pay a heavy rate of interest on money which they raise for paying the salaries and to meet other expenditure. The non-payment of salary in time has not only caused unrest among the employees but led to disappointment among the teachers.

Another baneful impact is that the colleges have been unable to recruit regular staff. Inquiries made by this reporter revealed that the ban on recruitment of staff was imposed by the state government in April, 1999. Earlier, Mr Bansi Lal had imposed the ban. The ban was lifted for a short time in January, 2000, and again imposed in March, 2000.

Some Principals said they had not been able to recruit any teacher for the past three years. They said when the ban was lifted for a short period, they could not make any recruitment. As per rules, no recruitment could be made in colleges from December 15 to July. Therefore, the vacancies could not be filled. Some colleges have recruited teachers on a temporary basis. For instance, Dyal Singh College, Karnal, has appointed seven lecturers on an ad hoc basis on fixed salaries to fill the posts which had fallen vacant. Mr S.K. Jain, Principal of the college, said since a small fixed salary was offered by the college, qualified teachers did not want to join. Ultimately, this affected the quality of education and the results of the college.

In MLN College, Yamunanagar, 25 teachers have been appointed on a temporary basis according to the Principal, Dr Ramesh Kumar. The salary of these teachers was being given from donations and self-financing schemes, he said, adding that in some cases funds from other sources had to be diverted to meet the salary bill.

Inquiries reveal that there are colleges which cannot appoint new teachers even on an ad hoc basis because of financial constraints.

It is reported that almost all non-government colleges have already deposited the tuition fee in the government accounts. It is being argued that when the state government could not pay grants-in-aid now, how would it be able to pay it during the lean months of February and March.

The strike in the office of the Director, Higher Education, has further worsened the situation. As the bills are not being signed, no college is expecting any aid in the near future. In view of the situation, the managements of some colleges, including that of Dyal Singh College, have passed resolutions urging the government to immediately release the grant.

Another reason for the financial crunch is that the managing committees of colleges have to pay lakhs of rupees on salaries, arrears following the revision of pay-scales and dearness allowance, etc. Besides, the colleges have to spend lakhs of rupees on the expansion of college buildings, purchase of laboratory equipment, books for the library, etc.

While the state government is claiming that it wants to introduce information technology and computer education as compulsory subjects, it is not ready to sanction any additional staff for the purpose. The plea taken by the government is that such courses should be run under the self-financing schemes and no grants-in-aid in any form would be paid by the government. Consequently, the students seeking admission to such courses have to pay a heavy fee as compared to other courses available in colleges.

A principal said if the government wanted to start computer and information technology subjects, it must sanction additional staff for running these courses. He said even after charging fee for the self-financing courses, the colleges could not afford to make regular appointments of lecturers for the purpose. Besides, funds were needed to create infrastructure, purchase of books and journals, etc. He regretted that the appointment of ad hoc staff had affected the results of such self-financing courses.

The government on the other hand maintained that because of the ever-increasing deficits and growth in the number of colleges, delay in finding resources to meet the demands was but natural. 

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
120 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |