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Jadavpur University vice-chancellor Suranjan Das turns to alumni for funds

West Bengal and Union government help inadequate, says varsity head’s letter

Subhankar Chowdhury | Published 27.10.22, 06:49 AM
Suranjan Das

Suranjan Das

The vice-chancellor of Jadavpur University, Suranjan Das, has written to a platform of former students that “government funding — state and central — is becoming extremely inadequate” for JU.

“I appeal to you to mobilise financial support for the University to enable it to maintain and improve the infrastructure and strengthen our ability to compete at national and international levels,” he said in his letter to the Global Jadavpur University Alumni Foundation on October 24.


The university is facing a funds crunch that is making it difficult to “maintain academic excellence, especially in science and technology”, the letter says.

Das told this newspaper that he wrote the letter to the foundation — based in California, US — because he believed that like the alumni of IIT Kharagpur, the former JU students would make a generous contribution to their alma mater.

The foundation started a fundraising drive in July for the university. 

That both the Centre and the state government were responsible for the crunch came to the fore in an article that the university’s finance officer wrote in the JU newsletter published in September.

Gour Krishna Pattanayak, the finance officer, wrote that the UGC grants for the development of state-aided universities “simply disappeared” after the end of the 12th Plan period in 2017. On the lack of support from the state government, Pattanayak wrote that non-salary grants released by the state to support academic and administrative activities“are so paltry that this year it will be less than 50% of the fund requirement of JU”.

The funds crunch has forced the university to impose a “general embargo” on spending in the 2022-23 academic year.

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 exceeds Rs 3 lakh, only 60 per cent of what has been fixed can be spent.

“The VC was right in admitting that the university was facing financial constraints in maintaining academic excellence, especially in science and technology. Lack of funds is coming in the way of maintaining the laboratories,” a teacher in a science department of JU said.

Last updated on 27.10.22, 06:49 AM

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