Guwahati, Jan. 31: Dispur will urge the Centre to earmark annual funds for Assam universities so that the state institutions can enjoy pay packages and academic facilities that are on a par with central universities.
A source told The Telegraph that chief minister Tarun Gogoi, at a recent meeting with teachers and students of Gauhati University, said the Centre has constituted a committee to look after state universities in the country.
The committee has also been entrusted with the responsibility of looking into the affairs of financial assistance to state universities. Gogoi said his government would take up the matter of earmarking annual central funds with the committee for creating quality infrastructure, better pay package for faculties, modern classroom, laboratories and other academic facilities at Gauhati University, Dibrugarh University and Assam University, the source said.
During the meeting, the chief minister said while the state government would continue its financial assistance to state universities, annual funds from the Centre would be big boost for these institutions.
Gogoi said state government funds are not enough for the three universities, a Gauhati University teacher who was privy to the meeting said.
The source said the state universities, particularly Gauhati University and Dibrugarh University, have been complaining that the state governments funds are not adequate for even basic academic and infrastructure needs.
For example, Gauhati University has been asking Dispur to bear 100 per cent of the salary component of the university, which stands to be more Rs 42 crore annually. But the government is providing an annual grant-in-aid of about Rs 30 crore. The Centre bears the entire salary expenditure of the central universities, the source said.
In 2008, Amarjyoti Choudhury, the current pro vice-chancellor of Tezpur University, a central university, resigned from the post of vice-chancellor of Gauhati University citing Dispurs financial apathy. He refused to abide by the governments instruction to raise tuition fees to help Gauhati University improve its financial condition.
Education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said if the chief minister takes up the matter personally with the Centre, the move could yield results.
I am also a member of the central governments committee to look after the affairs of state universities and will take up the issue. Even though the state universities receive funds from various central governments agencies like UGC, the chief minister is talking of a consistent flow of funds from the Centre, Sarma said.