JNU admin refutes fund cut allegations, says it got Rs 2 cr from UGC for library
The Jawaharlal Nehru University administration said they have received Rs 2 crore from the University Grants Commission towards library and dismissed allegations of fund cuts being made by the students' union. JNU Rector 1 Professor Chintamani Mahapatra said earlier the money used to come for five years and the varsity had leeway to manage funds but now every year, they have to give the budget estimate to the government.
JNU officials also said the varsity has applied for the tag of Institute of Eminence to the HRD Ministry which has to be decided by the ministry.
The JNU Students' Union has been accusing the varsity administration of cutting down library funds from Rs 8 crore to Rs 1.7 crore and dropping the subscription of important journals over paucity of funds.
"We have received Rs 2 crore from the UGC on December 26 for the library and we already have Rs 1.7 crore that is allocated for it," Mahapatra said.
Sources said the varsity is likely to allocate a little over a crore more for the library. The administration also said there was "no provision" for a means-cum-merit (MCM) fund in the annual grants received by it, in response to the students' union allegations that such scholarships were not being disbursed by the administration for the last eight months.
The UGC has said giving MCM is "your own choice" and the money given for MCM is generated from the tuition fees, professor Heeraman Tiwari, the varsity's finance officer, said.
The official said the total fee collected from the students was about Rs 1.70 to 1.80 crore annually, while the university had been disbursing an average of Rs 3.50 crore every year.
"Until last month, not a single student has been denied scholarship. Usually, applications are given by students for a period of three to four months and after verification process, they are given MCM money. Although it is a pain, but we are managing it," Tiwari added.
Tiwari said they have also applied for a loan from the Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) a few months ago and it is yet to be cleared.
"At the moment, we are relying on grants and generating our own funds," he said. There is an application form for HEFA which says that central universities have to generate internal resources to repay the loan. When questioned whether generating internal resources would mean increasing the fees, administration officials said there are several other ways of generation of funds like industrial-academic partnerships, through online courses and through organisations willing to fund science and social science.
The students' union demanded the resignation of the varsity's vice-chancellor for "peddling lies about massive fund cuts" when the administration's own documents, mails from companies show that the JNU does not have money to renew subscription, the JNUSU said.
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