VISAKHAPATNAM : : At a time when the state government has doubled the funding for the old universities in the budget estimates for 2014-15, the young universities in Andhra Pradesh got a raw deal. Though the budget estimates have been increased from `665.09 crore for traditional universities in united Andhra Pradesh to `753.9 crore in truncated Andhra Pradesh, after excluding Telangana universities, the funds for young universities have been decreased by 50 per cent when compared to that during 2013-14.
Ironically, a majority of the young varsities were established after 2008 and do not enjoy the 12B status from the University Grants Commission (UGC). As a result, they do not enjoy the UGC funds unlike the older universities and they have to solely depend on the state government for funds. “Instead of increasing the funding proportionate to the increase in the budget estimates, the funding for these universities have been decreased and were given a couple of crores only to meet the salaries and other emergency expenditure,” said a registrar working at one of these new universities.
The universities whose budgetary allocations have been reduced are Dravidian University (DU) of Kuppam, Adikavi Nannayya University (AKNU) of Rajahmundry, BR Ambedkar University (BRAU) of Srikakulam, Krishna University (KU) of Machilipatnam and Vikrama Simhapuri University (VSU) of Nellore. As per the fresh estimates for 2014-15, the state government has allocated `7.18 crore to DU, `6.21 crore to AKNU, `2.43 crore to BRAU, `2.54 crore to KU and `3.68 crore to VSU, as against the previous allocations.
Interestingly, the allocations for Yogi Vemana University and Rayalaseema University were increased from `12.94 crore to `19.30 crore and `4.78 crore to 5.66 crore respectively.
Despite repeated pleas from the varsities, the previous governments have been sanctioning funds very sparsely. For instance, universities like BRAU and AKNU received less than `12 crore each since their establishment. At least `80 crore is required for a university like BRAU to develop the infrastructure but the government sanctioned a meager `2.43 crore this year. “As a result, the infrastructure development and the faculty recruiment could not be taken up which in turn resulted in UGC denying the 12B status to these universities,” said another professor at one of the universities.
The academicians fear that the universities would be eventually shutdown or merged with the existing varsities.
When contacted, a senior official at Andhra Pradesh State Council of Higher Education told TNIE that the issue has been taken up with the higher officials in the Education department and an assurance has been given to the universities to increase the funding by about 40 per cent for each university. “But we are not sure when the adjustments will be made,” he summed up.