New Delhi: The Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Millia Islamia were two of the Central universities for which the fund allocation or release was significantly reduced in the last financial year, 2021-22, in comparison to the previous year, the Ministry of Education told the Lok Sabha in response to an unstarred question on Monday, July 18.
In reply to a question by Congress MP from Kerala T.N. Prathapan, who had asked about the details of the fund allocation to five central universities – Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi; Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi; Aligarh Muslim University; Rajiv Gandhi University, Itanagar; and Banaras Hindu University – the response by the minister of state for education, Subhas Sarkar, spelt out the details of their funding since 2014-15.
15% dip in funding for Jamia and Aligarh varsities
The reply by the ministry revealed that in the case of Jamia Millia Islamia while overall the funding had increased from Rs 264.48 crore in 2014-15, it had witnessed a sharp fall of nearly Rs 68.73 crore from Rs 479.83 crore in 2020-21 to Rs 411.10 crore in 2021-22. In the current fiscal, Rs 105.95 crore had been allocated to the university in the first quarter.
Similarly, in the case of Aligarh Muslim University, the reply revealed that while the overall allocation had increased from Rs 673.98 crore in 2014-15, it had shown a marked decline of nearly Rs 306 crore from Rs 1,520.10 crore in 2020-21 to Rs 1,214.63 crore in 2021-22. In the current financial year, the reply said the allocation was Rs 302.32 crore in the first quarter.
Funding for JNU stagnates
As for the other three universities, the reply revealed that the annual percentage increase in funding was the lowest in the case of JNU where the funds allocated or released increased marginally from 2014-15 when they stood at Rs 336.91 crore. In the seven years leading to 2021-22, the funding increased by only Rs 70 crore to reach Rs 407.47 crores.
In the case of Banaras Hindu University, the increase was much more pronounced as the funding almost doubled from Rs 669.51 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 1,303.01 crore in 2021-22. Similarly, in the case of Rajiv Gandhi University, the funding increased nearly 250% in this period from Rs 39.93 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 102.79 crore in 2021-22.
To questions from Prathapan on whether the government has reduced the fund allocation to the Central Universities, the ministry of education without going into the specifics said:
“The government provides grants to Central Universities through University Grants Commission (UGC). Allocation of funds is made on the basis of the requirement projected by the University and expenditure incurred during the previous year as well as the availability of funds.”
Similarly, to the question from the member on whether the government has noticed that certain universities are increasing fees citing shortage of funds and what are the reasons for not allocating more funds to such universities in order to stop fee hike, the Minister again gave a generic answer.
He said, “The Central Universities are autonomous institutions created under the Act of Parliament which are governed by their own Acts, Statutes, Ordinances, etc. and Regulations made thereunder and are competent to take decision in academic and administrative matter of the University including increasing of fees (Tuition, hostel and mess fee, etc.).”
This article was first published on The Wire.