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Jadavpur University imposes ‘general embargo’ on spending

Teachers worried over expenditure curbs in key areas

Subhankar Chowdhury | Published 23.09.22, 06:53 AM
Jadavpur University.

Jadavpur University.

File photo

Jadavpur University has imposed a ‘general embargo’ on spending in the 2022-23 academic year and the departments have been told that under heads like lab teaching, departmental research and contingencies, only 70 per cent of the budgeted amount can be spent if the annual budget is Rs 3 lakh or less.

If the annual budget of a department goes beyond Rs 3 lakh, only 60 per cent of what has been fixed can be spent. Financial constraints have forced the university to take the decision, a senior official said.

Calls to vice-chancellor Suranjan Das went unanswered.

Departments across faculties have been told that “no equipment can be purchased out of the contingencies” and “steps be taken to reduce the financial burden, in the possible areas” in the ongoing academic year.

The restrictions have been detailed in a publication titled “Budget estimates for the year 2022-23”.

A JU official said they were working on a proposal for a further cut, in the next academic year, owing to worsening of its financial position because of inadequate support from the state and the central governments.

A teacher in the science faculty said the announcement circulated in June was “unfortunate”.

“If spending in areas like lab teaching and departmental research is curbed, how will we produce results? In a science department, an annual budget provision of Rs 4 lakh is quite normal. If we are prevented from spending as much as 40 per cent, where does it leave us?” the teacher said.

Another teacher wondered how the university could maintain or improve its position in an annual ranking exercise carried out by the Union education ministry if spending is curbed in key areas.

Jadavpur University ranked 4th among universities across the country, according to a list prepared by the ministry and announced on July 15.

In the preface to the “Budget estimates...”, the university has written that it has been experiencing “serious difficulties to meet the non-salary components of the expenditure to run the academic and administrative activities smoothly”.

A recent report of the finance committee says the university has been registering deficit over the past four financial years because of the difference in the amount received from the state government and total expenditure.

The Telegraph reported last week that the finance officer of Jadavpur University, Gour Krishna Pattanayak, had called for an enhancement of fees “to a reasonable figure to tide over the situation”.

JU had earlier this month constituted a committee to look into the “huge gap” in the receipt of funds and the expenditure and suggest measures to bridge the gap.

Last updated on 23.09.22, 06:53 AM

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