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April 17, 2024 12:19 pm

Mann government in dock over a budget of Punjabi University Patiala

The Fact News Service
Patiala, March 11

Instead of providing the much-needed relief to Punjabi University, the Punjab government, in its latest Budget, has reduced the grant even further.

In the budget, the annual grant of the university has been reduced from Rs 200 crore to Rs 164 crore, while the salary budget of the university has been increased by nearly Rs 100 crore with the decision of the Punjab government to implement the pay commissions.

As per the Punjabi University, if the government had to give the same amount of grant as last year, even in that way, with the burden of the new decision, it becomes more than 300 crores. Inflation and fiscal deficit were separate.

Notably, Bhagwant Mann had promised to make education debt-free during his visit to Punjabi University, but with this budget, he has created a new debt situation for the university.
It is worth mentioning that Punjabi University is under a debt of Rs 150 crore and is running on financial deficit. As a result, the university is not in a position to pay salaries on time. With this budget, the crisis of Punjabi University is bound to deepen. In the previous budget, the Punjab government had given a salary grant of Rs 150 crore and a non-salary grant of Rs fifty crore to the university. Along with this, the Punjab government had repeatedly promised an interim grant which was not fulfilled.

The authorities said that no non-salary grant has been given to Punjabi University in this year’s budget. Last time in the budget of the Punjab government, a grant of Rs. 200 crores was announced while mentioning the name of Punjabi University significantly and had promised to protect the institution that promotes Punjabi language. This time Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema mentioned Punjabi University twice. Once, with reference to new entrepreneurship and secondly the mention emerged along with the rest of the institutions. The students from the agrarian belt of rural Malwa Punjab study on nominal fees at Punjabi University while this region is suffering from agrarian crisis. Majority of them are from poor socioeconomic background, dalit background and women who are not in a condition to get education in other institutions of Punjab itself. It is worth mentioning that the fee structure in Punjabi University is half as compared to other universities of Punjab. About two lakh twenty-five thousand students study in around 290 colleges affiliated to Punjabi University.

Punjabi University Vice Chancellor Prof. Arvind commented about the budget that it seems saving and running Punjabi University is not the priority of the government. He appealed to the government to revise the budget allocation to the university from 164 crore to 360 crore.

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