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TISS Seeks MHRD Intervention to Solve Funding Issues
The Tata Institute of Social Sciences has asked the HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar to consider the matter of 46% cut in the institute’s non-salary grants. In 2015, TISS was forced to take bank loans in order to release the salaries of its staff members because the government had suspended the grants.
The issue became much bigger than expected and the Director of TISS had to write to UGC saying that this humiliation must stop and that the grants they ask for are not part of any favors but is the institute’s right. The director also said that there was no one at the UGC who will address their demands with dignity.
The institute says that its opening balance as of April 1 was Rs. 14.36 crore whereas UGC contends that it is not more than Rs. 2.48 lakh. A communication was sent to UGC on August 20 by TISS that stated that their assessment is incorrect and claimed that UGC has not released the correct amount hence causing a shortage of nearly Rs. 15.57 crore.
Director of TISS, Professor S Parsuraman said that the issue has been raised several times and notices have been sent to UGC. He said that the HRD ministry has extended support but the UGC is not cooperating.
The HRD ministry has been informed that the opening balance of accounts of TISS is not the same as the accounts maintained in UGC. Therefore the institute is not getting the correct amount of grants. Officials from UGC had met the administrative panel of TISS.
UGC has demanded more records from TISS in order to resolve the discrepancy in numbers and grants. The institute has not come up with the reports yet. The ministry said that it is an accountancy matter that both the parties have to work within themselves.
In a letter written to the UGC in the month of August, TISS stated that the non-plan grant approved by the UGC for the session 2015-16 was Rs. 4,515.02 lakh to handle the expenditure of salaries and other non-teaching staff. The amount released by UGC was only Rs. 3,212.75 lakh hence the institute was short of Rs. 1,188.76 lakh.
For the new pension scheme, the UGC released Rs. 343 lakh for the new pension scheme which was again less than the promised amount, i.e. Rs. 597.29 lakh and causing a shortage of funds.
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