The Panjab University (PU) which has been reeling under a fiscal crisis for the past few months Tuesday heaved a sigh of relief after the University Grants Commission released a grant of Rs 50 crore towards it. An official letter was sent by the HRD Ministry to the University in this regard.
Sharing his happiness over the development, PU vice-chancellor Prof Arun Grover said, “For us in the University it is a wonderful coincidence that the approval of the grant has coincided with the arrival of eminent film lyrist Gulzar on the campus this evening. We are very happy to hear about it”. The VC had met Union HRD Minister Prakash Javedkar along with former BJP MLA Satya Pal to seek the release of the grant.
When asked how the grant would be spent, Dean Student Welfare Navdeep Goyal said, “Our main worry was the payment of salaries to the teachers and other staff. The grant would help us pay their salaries now”.
As the University is starved of the funds and is managing its fiscal affairs on day to day basis, the issue regarding the crisis had rocked the recent meetings of the University syndicate and senate. Earlier, the UGC had released Rs 40 crore in June this year. Besides it, the University had recently hiked the examination fee to raise additional Rs 35 crore to generate revenue at the internal level. UGC authorities were insisting that the University should take some steps at its own level to mop up additional revenue. UGC Joint Secretary JKTirpathi, who had recently attended the meeting of the Board of Finance of the University, had clearly stated that until the University mobilised fiscal resources at its own level, the UGC would not be in a position to release more grant.
The university requires Rs 305 crore to balance its books and to wipe out the deficit of last year. However, it has got only Rs 90 crore from the UGC so far while the state government has provided a grant of Rs 20 crore so far.