DESPITE THE stinging reply from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to a representation by Chancellor’s nominee V P Kamboj on the university’s financial situation, Vice-Chancellor Arun Kumar Grover remains hopeful that the Centre will come to the aid of the institution.
“The PMO taking note of the representation and marking it to the University Grants Commission (UGC) itself shows that they are serious about the issue. The UGC which had replied to the matter before the High Court’s hearing says a lot as well about its sincerity with regard to the matter. UGC has recognised our concerns about our affairs and they are also considering our revised estimates with an intent of providing relief.”
Kamboj, in his representation to the PMO, said the university was at risk of closure if the Human Resource Development Ministry did not release the pending grant of Rs 277 to wave its deficit.
PMO had reverted by stating that there was no problem at the university, and that the petitioner should leave this matter to the university administration.
Speaking to Chandigarh Newsline, the Vice-Chancellor expressed the hope that the university would get a grant of Rs 86 crore from the UGC before the next hearing of the High Court scheduled for November 7.
“I’m hopeful that we will get the grant of Rs 86 before November 7 which will give us the money to pay the salaries for the last three months of the year.” If the grant is released, then the university will get a total sum of Rs 176 crore in 2016. However, the deficit of Rs 107.72 crore will still persist.
Others associated with the university called for more financial prudence. J K Tripathi, joint secretary (finance) and the nominee of chairman, UGC, who had attended the Board of Finance meeting held on August 1 in which the revised budget estimates had been presented, said: “The expenditure projected by the university is genuine but keeping in view the present state of affairs, all the positions be freezed and no further appointments be made.”
Former MP and Senator Satya Pal Jain, who had met Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar with Vice-Chancellor Arun Kumar Grover to plead for release of grant, agreed with the PMO statement that there was no financial crisis at the university. Jain said, “There is no crisis as such at the Panjab University. The university has been pursuing the matter with the ministry just for the release of grants which sometimes get delayed and will come eventually. The PMO and government are absolutely right in saying it is a small issue.”