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UGC stops allocating funds to JU, issues embargo

Kolkata: Research work at Jadavpur University has been badly affected with the University Grants Commission (UGC) suddenly deciding to stop funds and issuing an embargo on spending of allocated funds.
It may be mentioned that 12 UGC projects have been running at Jadavpur University under its Potential for Excellence Scheme since 2012. JU is among the 18 educational institutions in the country that receive UGC funds under this scheme.
In 2012, UGC had given Rs 50 crore to the varsity which was supposed to be utilised by 2015.
Following this, the varsity received Rs 25 crore from the UGC in September 2016 which it was supposed to receive in the beginning of the year. The deadline for spending the same was March 31, 2018.
However, in October 2017, UGC intimidated the varsity that as fund allocation was late so the deadline for utilisation will be extended up to March 2019.
An UGC team visited the JU campus in January to take stock of the various aspects and recommended extension of the deadline in spending of funds till March 2019. However on March 31, UGC sent a letter declaring that they will not allocate any more funds.
They also posed an embargo on the unutilised funds. JU has been directed to submit an audit report. It has been a bolt from the blue for some 100 odd researchers and 50 teaching staff associated with this project.
"We are an autonomous university. The UGC team had visited our campus in January this year and had expressed satisfaction with the educational standards and infrastructure of the varsity.
However, they have recently sent a letter stating that they will no longer allocate funds for research activities and have also ordered an embargo in spending of funds that could not be utilised entirely due to late allocation," a researcher pointed out.
The researchers will soon decide on their next course of action after talks with senior university officials.
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