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JNUTA accuses admin of misusing funds meant for academic purposes

JNUTA accuses admin of misusing funds meant for academic purposes

New Delhi: The Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers' Association (JNUTA) accused the current varsity administration of creating an impression that the policies pursued by JNUTA are motivated by vested interests for "teaching, learning, and research" and spreading lies.

According to JNUTA, the average academic expenditure as a proportion to total expenditure of the varsity has gone down to 6.65 per cent in the last two years from 8.5 per cent in 2012-13 and 2015-16.

Between 2012 to 2018, the JNU Library had an effective budget of about Rs six crore per year, as funds were granted to JNU with a separate head for library resources, JNUTA president Atul Sood said.

As of 2017-18, funds given to JNU came as a lump sum, and not pre-allocated to separate heads. The allocations to library and other heads were decided internally, and the library has been allotted Rs 1.7 crore only. "While this was supplemented by some extra funds in 2017-18, in 2018-19, no extra money has been allocated for this financial year. As a consequence, most journal subscriptions will have to be discontinued," he said.

The expenditure on library books and scientific journals in the last two years is around half (57 er cent) of what it used to be in the past (2012-13 to 2015-16), Sood said. Expenses for additions to e-journals in 2017-18 is only 0.2 per cent of what it was in 2016-17 (many e-journals have to be renewed annually). "With the e-journals and databases provided by the UGC through INFLIBNET to JNU and other universities being discontinued from December 2018, this means that the JNU library will be virtually shut down, and this is exclusively because of the decisions of this administration alone," he said.

There has been a 15 per cent increase in receipts from academic fees in the last two years compared to the period before (2012-13 to 2015-16) in spite of drastic seat cuts due to huge increases in fees, particularly that charged from the engineering students even though the facilities provided to them are below standard.

Despite a Rs 10.99 crore income from academic fees alone, Merit-cum-Means Fellowships are not being disbursed, Sood said. Sood also said security expenses have gone up by 89 per cent in the last two years (2016-17 to 21017-18) in comparison to earlier years (2012-13 to 2015-16).

"The increase in the absolute amount spent extra on security is over Rs six crore on an average in the last two years, which is 6.7 times more than the amount reduced for library books and ejournals, he claimed.

In 2016-17, the security budget was Rs 9.52 crore, which in 2017-18, has increased to Rs 17.37 crores, he said. Sood also said that one major expense that the JNU administration is not revealing fully is its legal costs and alleged there might be some discrepancies. "Its financial records state that in 2016-17, it paid Rs 4.55 lakh as legal fees, and in 2017-18, Rs 2.72 lakh.

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