As UGC cuts down on fund allocation, JNU says research will be hampered

UGC allegedly told JNU that it had incurred “excess expenditure” from its plan grant on electricity and water

The ongoing row between Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and the University Grants Commission (UGC) is unlikely to end soon . First it was drastic seat cut for M.Phil and Ph.D courses, then came the allegations that some students are not getting their non-NET fellowships since January, now the varsity is seeking a disbursement of Rs 11 crore from the grant body which it claimed was ‘overdue’. However, the UGC has reportedly refused to to release funds saying they were “over and above the allocation” under the XIIth plan grant and, therefore, could not be given, according to Indian Express. The government body allegedly told the varsity that it had incurred “excess expenditure” from its plan grant on electricity and water.

Responding to UGC’s letter, JNU vice-chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar wrote to its acting chairman on April 21, and argued the money being demanded is part of the allocation and that the expenditure was “unavoidable”.

He also sought direction from UGC asking if funds are not to be spent from the plan grant, he “would be grateful UGC could advise him as to how to meet the expenditure.”

Demanding adequate funds under non-plan head, Kumar wrote that “failure to do so would severely impact ongoing research in the university”. He also demanded that JNU gets its “approved allocation” of Rs 247 crore “in full” without being penalised for expenses on water and electricity.

The university had Rs 16 crore as block grants and fellowships could be paid from that, IE reported quoting its sources. Meanwhile, JNU has begun paying fellowships from its balance but the issue seems to be far from over.