Fund crunch to haunt Osmania university

It is official now. In OU’s centenary year, Telangana government has shortchanged the varsity by allocating it only half of the funding it had asked for.

Published: 28th March 2017 05:31 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th March 2017 05:31 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

HYDERABAD:It is official now. In OU’s centenary year, Telangana government has shortchanged the varsity by allocating it only half of the funding it had asked for.

However, in spite of a block grant of Rs 269.16 crore from the government, the varsity which estimates its total expenditure for the upcoming financial year at Rs 767.15 crore on Monday showed a deficit of Rs 92.19 crore for the financial year 2016-17.

With a major chunk of the expenditure going towards payment of salaries of teaching and non-teaching staff and pensions, vice-chancellor Prof S Ramachandram, who was present at the Senate Hall in Administrative Building of the varsity where the budget was presented, said since the amount is insufficient, the administration has had to make adjustments.

“If there is a deficit, the axe falls on developmental activities. We can’t obviously stop the salaries of the teaching and non-teaching staff,” the VC, who had sought  Rs 400 crore from the TRS government, said.

An estimated total expenditure of Rs 767.15 crore was presented for the upcoming financial year. Though this year’s allocation is more than last year’s Rs 238 crore, it has disappointed both the administration and students.

Plagued with problems

Of the 56 departments in OU, 42 do not have professors, 27 don’t have associate professors and nearly 20 hostels need renovation. Lack of water and clean toilets continue to make the life of students difficult on the campus.

“We have been demanding renovation of 20 of the 42 hostels on the campus. The main library is small and in shambles with a leaky roof and cracked walls. Bathrooms are in pathetic condition with water running in taps only for two to three hours in a day. There are no fridges, neither in hostels nor colleges. For this, at least Rs 1,000 crore is required,” said Sayed Saleem Pasha, TVUV state general secretary.

Pasha alleged that every time the varsity receives some funds, it is used to pay salaries. Development of the university is a far away dream, more so with the government not giving enough funds.

Not the end of the road

Professor T Vijay Kumar, English Department, OU, however, is of the view that lesser funds don’t mean the end of the road. “It should not be seen as a developmental stall. It only means reorganising our priorities and trying other resources. We have plans to raise funds via internal resources like raising exam fee and the fee of affiliated colleges, bidding for projects and other internal recourses,” he said. He also clarified that only 37.14 per cent of the total expenditure is spent on paying salaries.

Further, the administration hopes to overcome  Rs 39 crore deficit by seeking additional funds from the government. The VC is hopeful that the government will reconsider since it’s the varsity’s centenary year.
The remaining Rs 53.12 crore will be received from the government for setting up of affiliated postgraduate colleges at Siddipet, Jogipet, Narsapur (sanctioned 2014-15).   

With the University hosting the 105th session of the Indian Science Congress from January 3-7, 2018, for which Prof Kumar says there will be some additional funding from the Ministry of HRD, it is ironical that students stand nothing to gain. The student community, however, says that they will stage a protest when President Pranab Mukherjee and 20 Nobel laureates come visiting the University during the conference.

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