After Panjab University authorities disbursed the salary of nearly 1,000 teaching staff yesterday, another challenge of conducting the examinations to be held in the month of April and May looms over the authorities. Panjab University (PU), after a directive from the Punjab and Haryana High Court, gave the salaries from the examination fee collected until now by the authorities which approximately amounted to Rs 20 crore.
The PU authorities are keeping their fingers crossed for release of grants from the UGC and also looking desperately at the collection they are going to receive until the last date of deposition of the fee on March 15.
“We are positive about the court verdict so that we can get the grant and use the money for examination. Moreover, the money coming in until March 15 will decide further course of action,” said Registrar Col G S Chadha. If no grant is received from the UGC, they will have no money to give the salaries for the coming month of March.
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UGC grants are only used for the disbursement of salaries to the university employees, while the planned budget is on the income generated by PU through examination and tuition fees.
“Now if they have used the examination fee they don’t have anything left for payment of salaries, construction and infrastructure upgrade for research scholars,” said a senior PUTA member.
Sometimes, due to delay in research scholarship for students in PhD by UGC and DST, the university would provide them with the required money but now with the money exhausted there will be no scope of relief.
The university, which plans to construct new hostels for the research scholars, will also face problems due to non-availability of money. The construction in PU, especially of the Multi-Purpose Hall in Sector 25, has been stalled due to non-availability of funds time and again.
Parvinder Singh, the controller of examination, said, “In the annual system, the examination fee was around Rs 22-25 crore. PU has adopted the semester system. We will get to know the amount used once we hold the exams.” The university had increased the examination fee by 8 per cent last year. According to Parvinder, the examination will be conducted through the money available with PU for other purposes.
“The examination is to be conducted and there will be no delay in conducting these examinations as the new grant for the annual budget is released during the month of April. So the money used for salaries will be redrafted into the examination fund,” Parvinder added.
PU has two main sources of income — examination and tuition fees collected during the course of the year apart from the annual grant received from the University Grants Commission (UGC).
“Although the two main sources of income are examinations and tuition fees, we have some other miscellaneous sources of income which will be utilised for these very specific purposes as we couldn’t pay salaries,” said Vikram Nayyar, FDO officer at PU.