In the latest development, Jawaharlal University (JNU) has asked University Grants Commission(UGC) to release a grant of Rs 11 crore which is long ‘overdue’. The UGC has reportedly replied that as per the XIIth plan grant, the amount asked for is “over and above the allocation,” as reported by The Indian Express. The problem stemming from non-payment is that students of JNU haven’t received their non-NET fellowships since January and this is creating big financial problems for them. Furthermore, UGC has told The Indian Express that the fellowships were to be paid out of R.16 crore, that was allocated to the university as block grants.
UGC has also alleged that JNU is spending in excess funds allocated on electricity and water from its plan grant. Replying to the UGC allegation, JNU vice-chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar on April 21, had written that the expenditure was unavoidable. He had also said that if they cannot spend the funds from the grant then UGC should tell them about how to meet the expenditure.
Jagadesh Kumar had further referred to a previous letter from UGC joint secretary JK Tripathi. ““The letter states that the UGC observed there is an excess expenditure, probably under electricity and water charges, which were supposed to be met from non-plan grant. I would like to state that as mentioned in my previous letters, the non-plan no salary allocation made by UGC is only Rs 25 crore while the expenditure on electricity and water is about Rs 36 crore per year. It is obvious that the charges cannot be met from the meager non-plan grant allocation. As a result, the university is left with no option but to delve into plan funds,” The Indian Express quoted him as saying.
He further said,“The letter also states the audit does not allow UGC to release Rs 11 crore over and above the allocation under the plan head… XIIth plan allocation for the university was Rs 204 crore (subsequently raised to Rs 242 crore and now Rs 247 crore), of which Rs 231 crore was released. Thus, the demand for Rs 11 crore is not above the plan grant.”
Urging UGC to allocate the funds, Kumar went on to say that the non-allocation of funds will affect the university progress in the ongoing research. Talking about the excess expenditure on electricity, he said his university uses energy conservation measures and the amount asked for is just minimum.