The Punjab and Haryana High Court have ordered either the chairman or secretary of University Grants Commission (UGC) to appear before the court on December 5, 2016. The UGC has to submit the details regarding the outcome of its November 15, 2016, meeting where it was to take a decision on release of the third instalment of funds to the financially strained Panjab University.
The directives have been issued by a division bench comprising of Justices S S Saron and Lisa Gill. The court considered the matter raised by Vice Chancellor, Arun Kumar Gover stating that ‘Panjab University may shut down by January 2017 if Centre does not clear funds’.
On the other hand, one of the advocates appearing in the case informed the court that a sum of Rs. 40 crore grant was sanctioned by the University Grants Commission (UGC). However, the issue was not discussed in the meeting that took place on November 15, 2016.
Ashe Kumar Goyal, UGC’s counsel, informed the court that during the previous fiscal year, i.e., 2015-16, UGC had released Rs. 176 crore to Panjab University.
During the current financial year, a sum of Rs. 90 crore has been granted, and the proposal for releasing the third installment was underway, and the court had ordered to discuss the same in the meeting on November 15, 2016. According to VC of Panjab University, no such discussion was held regarding releasing the funds.