Making PU a Centrally-funded university is a closed chapter for us: V-C Arun Grover

By Dp Online

September 21, 2016

Chandigarh: Panjab University (PU) established in 1882 as the University of Punjab (Lahore, Pakistan), was one of the India’s oldest institutions, but has been losing its charm in recent times. The prestigious place of a reputed university has been shattered because of financial vows, internal politics and many more reasons.

Asking about the status of the Central University status for Panjab University, the Vice Chancellor said, “This chapter is closed for us. This matter was brought to light earlier when there were elections in Punjab. The history is repeating itself. We cannot expect this matter to be resolved as elections in Punjab are approaching. So, we are just focusing on deficient funds.”

Even though PU Vice Chancellor Prof Arun Kumar Grover said the salary till October-November would be paid on time, the grant from the HRD Ministry is still awaited. “If the Central Government does not release the grant as per the revised budget, Panjab University will close down by January 2017, as no funds are available to pay the salary to the employees after October and November, ” this was stated by the PU Vice-Chancellor while addressing the Senate meeting on September 3.

With the delay in the release of the second instalment of grant by the University Grants Commission (UGC) to Panjab University, the ‘financial crunch’ continues for the authorities, who have to struggle every month to manage Rs 25 crore for the timely disbursement of salaries to 3,000 employees on the campus.

The V-C said on July 11, he had sent a letter contacting revised estimate of the non-plan budget to the UGC Chairman, Home Secretary and even to UT Administration to bring the matter to light. He had requested the UGC Chairmanhim to get the grant from July to September released at the earliest by the HRD Ministry, so that salaries and pension of the staff could be disbursed on time.

When it comes to PU, there was certainly a shortage of regular faculty and the university authorities blamed the fund crunch for it. Talking to Daily Post about the financial crunch at university, the V-C said, “We don’t have funds to pay the employees already working on the campus. How can we manage to recruit more persons? There were around 700 vacancies in April and till now the number is the same. We had to shut down the recruitment process because of scarcity of funds.”

PUTA president Promila Pathak said, “The financial crisis in PU is our main agenda. We will be reaching out MHRD, UGC to come out of this crisis. This is the prime concern we have to look upon. And this university is one of the oldest in the country so there should at least be some special status for Panjab University.”

  Non-plan budget from Board of Finance (BoF) for 2016-17 fiscal year.