THE PUNJAB and Haryana High Court Tuesday asked the Punjab government to take a decision on a proposal to increase its share of grant towards the annual budget of Panjab University (PU) within two weeks. During the resumed hearing of the case on the financial crisis being faced by PU, a division bench of Justices Ajay Kumar Mittal and Anupinder Singh Grewal also asked the state government to respond to the Centre’s communication in which comments had been sought from it regarding the Haryana’s proposal to affiliate some of the colleges with the varsity.
Additional Solicitor General of India, Satya Pal Jain told the bench that the Ministry of Home Affairs has already received the response regarding the proposal from the Ministry of Human Resources Development and “we are eagerly waiting for the response of Punjab government.”
Earlier, the High Court had asked the Punjab government to suitably increase its share of grant towards the university. During the resumed hearing, the division bench gave two weeks time to Punjab government to take the decision and issued a notice to it through the state chief secretary.
The counsel representing the government told the bench that the PU needs to provide its financial plans for it to take the decision. It was on the request of the PU counsel that the bench kept a two-week time frame for the decision making.
While the Punjab government now provides Rs 33 crore to the university as its contribution towards the annual budget, the Centre last year had raised its annual allocation to Rs 207.80 crore from 2016’s Rs 197.73-crore grant. However, the annual expenditure of the university is nearly Rs 500 crore.
As many as 43 years after the Haryana government had snapped its ties with the university, the state government, in May last year, had told the High Court that it wants to help the university and revisit its relationship with it. The expected affiliation of the state colleges will lead to many structural changes in the governing bodies of the university.
The division bench Tuesday also asked the Chandigarh administration and Municipal Corporation to respond on the issue of maintenance of the university’s civic infrastructure like roads, lighting and sanitation. The university earlier had told the High Court that the campus was treated as a “dark spot” by the authorities.