Government shall release fees of last 4 years of SC students to colleges: JAC
Due to financial distress unaided colleges are helpless to pay the salaries to staff
Chandigarh: An emergency meeting of all the Directors of the Joint Action Committee, Punjab representing more than 1650 unaided colleges of Punjab held today through video conferencing to discuss some crucial issues.
S. Jagjit Singh, President B. Ed. Federation, after the meeting said that the unaided colleges are contributing more than 80% to the higher education. In this period of crisis the unaided colleges has offered their buildings to the Govt. for conversion of these to isolation wards, if the need arises for the same. He said that the managements of unaided colleges stand by the Govt. in this time of crisis, but the poor financial condition of colleges come in to the way of extending more support to the Govt. One of the major reasons for this condition is non disbursal of fees of SC students to these colleges under Post Matric Scholarship Scheme for SC.
Sh. Anil Chopra, President of Confederation of Unaided Colleges, said that on the directions of Govt. of Punjab the Unaided Self-financed Colleges of Punjab provide free education to the SC students. He said that a sum of Rs. 538.08 Crore for the year 2016-17 is pending towards Govt. of India. A sum of around Rs. 1310 crore is due towards Punjab Govt. for the year 2017-18, 2018-19 & 2019-20. Despite the budgetary allocations each year the Punjab Govt. has not released a single penny from this amount of Rs. 1310 crore of SC students
Dr. Anshu Kataria, President PUCA said that the loan accounts of most of the unaided colleges of Punjab are NPA. In this scenario of distress many of the colleges were unable to pay the salary to their staff from last 3-4 months and may also close down due to impact of this lockdown. Dr. Kataria said that a sum of Rs. 1850 crore of fees of SC students of unaided colleges is due towards the Govt. This huge amount is due towards the Govt. because the pattern of share of funds between state and Govt. of India (GOI) has changed w.e.f. 2017-18 session in the new policy announced by GOI.
Dr. Gurmeet Singh Dhaliwal, President PUTIA said that earlier there was a fixed committed liability of the state to the tune of Rs. 60 crore and over and above this amount the whole bill was disbursed by the Govt. of India (GOI). The pattern of share of this scheme between States and Govt. of India is changed w.e.f. 2017-18 session in the new “Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Post Matric Scholarships to the students belonging to Scheduled Castes for studies in India.” According to the changed pattern described in this policy the state’s bill of 2016-17 shall become the minimum committed liability of the state for following years. The revised bill of Punjab for the year 2016-17 is Rs. 800.31 crore. Hence the minimum committed liability of Punjab for following years will be 800.31 crore.
It means the state has to bear all the cost of Post Matric Scholarship Scheme for SC because no bill of following years has exceeded this amount. Dr. Dhaliwal said that during this period of Pandemic, we request you to extend the old pattern of share of funds for 5 more years i.e. up to 2022 and release the whole amount of around 1850 crore to the colleges of Punjab against the fees of SC students to save the employment of thousands of families of employees and education of Lakhs of educationally backward poor SC students.
S. Sukhmander Singh Chatha, President PUDCA said that the Govt. of India is providing thousands of crores to save the employment of industrial workers and ignoring the education sector, which also have huge contribution towards nation building. This sector is providing employment to lakhs of people. The JAC is not demanding any package for education sector but seeking the reimbursement of fees to the college for the students who have studied in these colleges.
Sh. Vipan Sharma, Vice President Polytechnic Association said that the Govt. is directing the colleges not to seek the fees from students for current and next semester. During this time of crises apart from release of salaries, some of the colleges may be helpless to relieve the staff due to shortage of funds. He said that JAC appeal to the Govt. of India to immediately release the whole amount of around Rs. 1850 crore.
S. Charanjeet Singh Walia (President Nursing Association), S. Nirmal Singh (President ETT Federation), Sh. Shimanshu Gupta (President ITI Association), S. Jasnik Singh (President B. Ed. Association Pb. Uni.), S. S. S. Sandhu (President B. Ed. Association GNDU), S. Manjeet Singh (Sr. Vice President PUTIA), and S. Rajinder Singh Dhanoa (Gen. Secretary Polytechnic Association) said that the managements of unaided colleges feel the pain of our society and want to help the Govt. during this pandemic. But due to shortage of funds they are helpless and Govt. shall take care of education sector to save the jobs of thousands of employees.