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Punjabi university gets much awaited New Year gift from Punjab govt ; university grant approved by state govt

Punjabi university gets much awaited New Year gift from Punjab govt ; university grant approved by state govt

Kanwar Inder singh/ royalpatiala.in News/ January 18,2024

The promise made by the Punjab government to increase the monthly grant by supporting Punjabi University in the difficult period of financial crisis has been fulfilled. During the current financial year 2023-24, the government is giving a grant of Rs 30 crores per month to the university.

Through the latest letter issued by the Finance Department (Financial Expenditure-2 Branch) of the Government of Punjab, the Finance Department has approved to make an additional budget provision of Rs. 30 crores for the third quarter of the current financial year and Rs. 90 crores for the fourth quarter i.e. a total grant of Rs. 120 crores has been approved.

Vice Chancellor Prof. Arvind gave information regarding this and whole-heartedly thanked the Punjab government especially the Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann, Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema and Minister of Higher Education, Harjot Singh Bains. He said that in this period of financial crisis, lending a helping hand is also a testament to the fact that the Chief Minister and the Finance Minister, both of whom have been the students of Punjabi University, have a passionate connection and commitment to this university, which is still intact. He said that on the other hand, this also confirms that the current government of the state takes education as an agenda of priority.

It is worth mentioning that Punjabi University used to get a monthly grant of about 9.5 crore due to which employees could not be paid for several months. As a result, every year, the university had to request the government for a ‘special grant’. To solve this situation, the current government of Punjab has permanently increased the monthly grant issued to the university from 9.5 crores to 30 crores per month, which has made many financial matters easier. Due to the better management done by the university authorities with the increased grant, the debt incurred by the university and the rate of interest on that debt have also started to decrease. The university’s debt of Rs 150 crores has been reduced to Rs 146.68 crores and the interest rate on the loan has been reduced from 12.9 per cent to 9.55 per cent.

Some of the steps taken in this direction by the University during the recent period are particularly noteworthy. As six new five-year integrated courses have been launched in 2021-22, which have received overwhelming response from students for admission. During the current session, around 800 students have enrolled in these six courses and their total number has now increased to around 2400. Enrollments in other university courses, even engineering courses, have also increased.

Punjabi university gets much awaited New Year gift from Punjab govt ; university grant approved by state govt

Due to the financial condition of the university, no new recruitment has been done by the university for the last 7-8 years. The University has/is in progress to suspend/dismiss about 20 tainted employees in the past years. Around 434 teaching and non-teaching employees have retired since the year 2018.

Under the rationalization by the University, Guru Kashi Center, Talwandi Sabo, Regional Center, Bathinda and some departments at the Regional Center, Mohali and the University Campus were also merged and restructured, with which the teachers and employees have also been rationalized so that the available resources can be utilized properly. In view of the financial situation of the university, the vehicles allotted to various university officials have been withdrawn. Compared to previous times, there is around 50% saving in the expenses of Youth Welfare Department, Sports Department and N SS Department considering the financial condition of the University.

 

Under the CSR grant, the university has received a grant of Rs.1.67 crore during the year 2023 for various projects at the university, which is being processed. University staff has been re-deployed as per the requirement. As for telephone attendants, IT Training is being given. STP plant was being run on contract, which is now being run by the university employees by training them. In 2016-17, the university spent 40 lakh rupees on conferences, which reduced to 11 lakh rupees in 2022-2023. Earlier till 2016-17, two-thirds of the conference budget was spent by the university from its own account, but in 2022-23, most of the money was collected from external sources and the university contributed about one-third. Expenditure on sports was 40% less in 2022-2023 than the average of previous years.

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