Punjab Government mulls reducing aid to private colleges

Punjab Government mulls reducing aid to private colleges

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 2

In the garb of bringing ‘Reforms in grant-in-aid policy’, the Punjab Government is planning to reduce its share of financial aid to 136 private colleges by 20 per cent.

Implemented in 1979, the policy covers 136 private colleges of the state. Initially the grant was made available to a college, which came existence before 1978 within the area of Punjab and which was affiliated to Panjab University or Guru Nanak Dev University, on or before that date.

Reimbursement against posts slashed

  • 3,312 teaching and 2,406 non-teaching posts were covered under the scheme
  • The state reimburses 95% deficit of the salary of the staff working against the posts
  • It is proposed that the re-imbursement against the expenditure incurred against these posts will be limited to 75% and the policy will be reviewed every 5 years

The purpose of the scheme was to fulfil the social responsibility of the state government by promoting quality higher education at a reasonable fee to the students of the state. A total of 3,312 teaching and 2,406 non-teaching posts were covered under the scheme.

Now the government is not just planning to reduce the aid but also proposes to take control of the faculty recruitment system. Sources said a meeting in this regard took place last week.

As per the existing norms, the college management’s chairman heads the selection committee for the recruitment of faculty. The government is planning that DPI’s nominee will chair the committee.

At present, the state government reimburses 95 per cent deficit of the salary of the staff working against the sanctioned posts. The sources said it was proposed that the re-imbursement against the expenditure incurred against these newly filled posts would be limited to 75 per cent. Even the policy of 75 per cent re-imbursement would be reviewed every five years, they said.

College teachers and managements are seeing the development as government backtracking from its responsibility of providing higher education. Prof Rabinder Nath Sharma said the reduction in aid would cost students dearly. “The government is withdrawing from higher education, the burden of this will be borne by the students. All stakeholders — teachers, principals and managing committees — have been excluded from the process of so-called reforms,” he said.

DPI (Colleges) Paramjit Singh confirmed that the meeting had taken place, but he only attended it briefly as he was in quarantine.

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