Leader of Opposition Partap Singh Bajwa on Saturday raised the issue of reduction in financial grant to Punjabi University Patiala imposed in the Budget 2023-24 presented by Finance Minister Harpal Cheema and said the AAP government should consider diverting Rs 750 crore which are kept aside for advertisements. to the six universities of Punjab to improve the standard of education.
“The finance minister announced a grant of Rs 990 crore for all six universities in Punjab, which we welcomed. But Punjabi University Vice-Chancellor Dr Arvind criticized the budget cut imposed on the university,” Bajwa said. that when the AAP government was formed, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann went to Punjabi University and identified himself with it saying that he was the son of a teacher and studied in a college affiliated to it.
“There are around 2,15,000 students in this university and there are 290 colleges affiliated to it. Last year it faced severe financial crises and the government as well as the CM announced that no educational institution will be allowed to close due to lack of funds. 200 crore was announced for the university at that time, of which Rs 150 crore was for salaries. The VC has now informed that the grant has been reduced from Rs 200 crore to Rs 164 crore. An additional burden of Rs 120 crore has been added to the university due to hike in teachers’ pay as per 7th Pay Commission and hike in pay of non-teaching staff as per 6th Pay Commission. “The university cannot bear this financial burden,” Bajwa said.