Chandigarh, May 25
The UT Administrator will hold a meeting with chief ministers of Punjab and Haryana to discuss the demand for grant raised by Panjab University on June 1.
Sources said it would be for the first time that the chief ministers of both neighbouring states would be attending an important meeting with Chandigarh Administrator Banwarilal Purohit.
In the past, politicians from Haryana had offered to contribute to the PU budget on the condition the university granted affiliation to colleges or regional centres on the lines with Punjab. The Punjab Government had also agreed to help the university. Last month, the Punjab Government had announced that it would provide Punjabi University, Patiala, a grant of Rs 30 crore per month (Rs 360 crore annually).
Former PU Chancellor M Venkaiah Naidu had asked both governments to come forward for the welfare of the university.
“This will be an important meeting. The university usually complains about having a shortage of funds. The coming meeting will surely pave the way for a solution to the problems faced by the university,” said the sources.
Meanwhile, the university authorities were unavailable to comment on the issue.
As per the existing practice, the university is bound to receive annual maintenance grants from both the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the Punjab Government on an 80:20 ratio. In March 2018, the Punjab Government had informed the Punjab and Haryana High Court that it would be enhancing the grant to the university by 6 per cent for the 2018-19 financial year.
Thereon, it had been increasing the grant by the same proportion, except in 2021-22, when the enhancement was 4.81 per cent. In 2021, the university had got an enhanced grant of Rs 33.7 crore from Punjab. The following year, the university was expecting to get Rs 36 crore apart from Rs 278 crore from the UGC (as listed in the 2022-23).
However, after a perusal of the budget, the Punjab Finance Department told the PU that there had never been a decision to agree to the enhancement in the university’s grant at 6 per cent per annum, claimed the sources.
Recently, the representatives of the Panjab University Teachers’ Association (PUTA) held a meeting with Jagdeep Dhankhar, Vice-President of India and PU Chancellor, during his visit to the campus.
The association claimed that before the implementation of the revised scales, the university was able to fulfil its salary commitments. But, after a revision of pay scales, the total revenue budget of the university for 2023-24 has gone up to Rs 761.70 crore. The support of the Central Government to the university is only with respect to salaries of the teaching staff as well as that of a restricted number of non-teaching staff according to the prescribed ratio of 1:1.1 between teaching and non-teaching staff, respectively, which, as per the PU budget document for 2023-24 is Rs 294.77 crore. The Punjab Government gives a grant of Rs 38.30 crore. The university generates its internal revenue of Rs 310 crore, thus leaving a revenue gap of Rs 118 crore. Besides, there is also a need to sanction a one-time additional grant to meet the liability of arrears.
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