| Students protest during the senate meeting in Patna on Wednesday. Picture by Nagendra Kumar Singh |
A budget of Rs 373.18 crore passed at the Patna University senate meeting on Wednesday would be used to finance new courses and fill up non-technical vacancies.
Patna University pro-vice-chancellor Ranjeet Kumar Verma presented the budget amid protests by senate members and student leaders. With Rs 345.52 crore deficit budget, the university administration earns around Rs 28 crore from its internal resources such as fees and sale of forms.
The senate also gave a nod to a proposal for appointments of non-technical employees in various departments on a permanent basis as some members strongly objected to the varsity proposal to outsource non-teaching employees. Pro VC Verma said: “The university would start the appointment process of non-technical employees at various departments after getting a financial approval from the state government.”
The senate also passed regulation for new courses such as BSc statistics, which would start at Patna College and other courses.
The senate members, at its meeting held under the chairmanship of vice-chancellor (VC) Y.C. Simhadri expressed concern over the meagre contingency grants being doled out to different departments.
The senate also passed resolutions on setting up a separate contingency fund for technical purpose. The amount would be utilised for purchase of chemicals, chemical equipments and library resources.
However, some Patna University Students’ Union (Pusu) members, who had been invited to the senate meeting created a ruckus as some claimed that the varsity administration has failed to do much in providing facilities to students.
The student leaders demanded hostel renovation, drinking water facilities at hostel and construction of police pickets at college campus.
Earlier, presenting the university’s vision document at the senate meeting, Simhadri emphasised the need of devising a mechanism to streamline the university’s financial discipline. He pleaded for creation of a corpus to meet the university's urgent demands in times of emergency.
The VC, while talking about the development of university, said all departments and colleges would be modernised with automated classrooms and libraries.
Patna College principal N.K. Choudhary, while raising the issue of autonomy of university, protested against the minister chairing the state higher education council. Choudhary said: “The state higher education council should be headed by an academician and not by any minister or bureaucrat.”
Creation of a higher education council would be a prerequisite to seek funds under centrally sponsored programmes, which aim to revamp higher education in the state. The higher education council under Rashtriya Ucchatar Shiksha Abhiyaan, envisages quality improvement in higher education.