FOR THE second year in a row, the University of Mumbai has approved a surplus budget. After proposing an ambitious budget last year that could not be met, the University again projected a surplus of Rs 52 crore for the academic year 2017-18.
A surplus budget is when the university’s slotted expenditure in a year is less than its expected income. In 2017-18, against an estimated budget of Rs 539.04 crore, the university has proposed to spend only Rs 487.04 crore, according to a senior varsity official. The budget was approved in a senate meeting on Thursday.
The university’s income estimate this year has gone down by almost Rs 68 crore from last year.
Last year, the varsity had proposed to earn Rs 607.14 crore, by including the Rs 150 crore that was to be recovered from the government and from affiliated colleges. But the amount could not be recovered despite several attempts. The budget had later been revised to Rs 370.76 crore. While the varsity had expected a surplus of Rs 61.77 crore, the revised deficit was Rs 73.29 crore.
This year, the university has announced several new initiatives, including a centre for European studies as well as a Chinese centre. Children of single mothers and martyrs will get free undergraduate and postgraduate education in traditional courses. Another official said a proposal to increase examination fee charged from students was shot down. The increase was aimed at financing onscreen assessment of answersheets. A committee will be formed to discuss the matter.
The long-pending demand of examiners has been met as they will now get a higher remuneration for evaluating papers. A skill development centre for women will be set up on a 14-acre plot in Kalwa.
Some initiatives that were announced last year but did not take off, such as four new hostels, skill development courses and quarters for employees, have been carried forward this year. A sum of Rs 1 crore has been allocated for a master plan to develop infrastructure at the Kalina campus. More funds for the plan, as revealed by the vice-chancellor earlier this month, will be raised through the alumni association.