Several colleges, including some well-established groups of education, may face disaffiliation from the I K Gujral Punjab Technical University (IKGPTU) if the long-pending dues to the tune of Rs 45 crore are not cleared by these colleges soon.
The university has announced September 15 as the last date to deposit the fee.
The future of thousands of students could be at stake if these colleges are disaffiliated from IKGPTU, which is the first technical university of Punjab.
All such colleges are granted affiliation by the university every year upon payment of the ‘continuation of affiliation’ fee. But some of the well-established colleges have not paid this fee for the past 4-5 years and have been seeking exemption. A few of the colleges, which came up in the recent past, have not deposited the fee since their inception.
All this while the university had been granting these colleges affiliations on their assurances that they would clear the dues soon. But every time they failed to keep their word. Now, things have come to a head that the university has decided to lay down the law about the affiliation fee.
It is learnt that around Rs 49 crore had been pending from several colleges, and after repeated requests and reminders sent by the university, only some colleges have paid their dues (Rs 4 crore) to date. But majority of the reputed and established groups of technical and management colleges, which owe 70% (Rs 31.51 crore) of the total pending amount of Rs 45 crore (at present) to the university, have not responded well.
IKGPTU has prepared a list of the major defaulters that owe 70% of the total dues to the university, a copy of which is with The Indian Express. The major defaulter colleges included Adesh Group of Institutes, Gharuan, (Rs 4,05,06502), Universal Group of Institutes, Dera Bassi, (Rs 3,87, 78,039), Gulzar Group of College, Khanna, (Rs 3,81,70,269), K C Group of Institutes, Nawanshahr, (Rs 3,34,20,680), BIS Group of Institutes, Moga, (Rs 2,77,04,630), Doaba Group of Colleges, Kharar, (Rs 2,66,57, 423), Aryan Group of Institutes, Patiala, (Rs 2,31,38,840), Sri Sai Group of Institutes, Badhani, (Rs 1,76,53,399), Doaba Khalsa Trust Group of Institutes, Nawanshahr, (Rs 1,70,57,992), Adesh Institute of Engineering & Technology, Faridkot, (Rs 1,34,94,746), Vidya Jyoti Group of Institutes, Dera Bassi, (Rs 1,05,75,620), Swami Sarvanand Group of Institutes, Dinanagar, (Rs 75,22,634), Sukhjinder Singh Group of Institutes, Gurdaspur, (Rs 70,65,013), Swami Parmanand Group of Institutes, Lalru Mandi, (Rs 67,18,732), and Swami Satyanand Group of Institutes, Amritsar, (Rs 66,62,364), among others. Dozens of other colleges also owe the remaining around Rs 14 crore to the university.
There are 212 colleges affiliated with IKGPTU in the field of engineering, management, pharmacy, architecture and Non-AICTE (UGC). The institutes, which have deposited the pending dues, have been issued affiliation/continuation orders for session 2022-23, said sources.
Rahul Bhandari, Principal Secretary Technical Education-cum-Acting Vice-Chancellor of PTU, confirmed the non-payment of affiliation fee by several established colleges under the university. “We have asked them to deposit 25% of the pending dues so that affiliation process can be initiated, while the remaining amount can be paid in the later months. At present, nearly 60 colleges have responded positively,” the V-C said, adding that to date no response has been received from well-established institutes, and in such a situation, these colleges could face disaffiliation from the university.
PTU officials say that these colleges have been giving excuses that the government has not cleared their long-pending dues related to the post-matric scholarship scheme (PMSS) because of which they have been facing heavy losses, and they won’t be in a position to clear these dues till the time their PMSS dues are cleared by the government. “The university has nothing to do with these dues because this matter is decided at the government-level and the colleges must pay the fee for continuing the affiliation,” said a senior officer in PTU.
Manjit Singh of Doaba Group of Colleges, Kharar and Nawanshahr, who is also the chief patron of Joint Association of Colleges, said that several colleges are coming forward to pay 25% dues. The remaining they plan to pay soon.
“Such stringent action is not required by the university. They will take up the matter with the university to sort out the matter in an amicable manner instead of harassing the colleges,” Singh said, adding that “we urge the government to clear the PMSS dues of colleges which are long-pending and also request the university to chalk out a policy so that colleges, university and students don’t suffer”. Anshu Kataria of Aryan Group of Institutes, Patiala, and co-chairman of the Joint Association of Colleges, said that the government is yet to clear Rs 1,850 crore (of PMSS) of the colleges for 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20. Out of this amount, the government owes Rs 1,048 crore to private colleges, he added.