The supposedly healthiest university in the State is in financial doldrums. With all the reserve funds exhausted due to partial release of promised block grants by the government, Osmania University may not even be in a position to pay salaries to its teachers after a few months.
For the last three years, the government has not kept its promise of releasing the sanctioned block grants and with the increasing expenditure in the form of revised pay scales and pensions its financial health has gone from bad to worse.
In 2008-09 the government allocated Rs. 98.43 crore in the budget, but it released only Rs. 49.21 crore while the university's expenditure was Rs. 146.77 crore. Next financial year, the allocation was Rs. 98.43 crore but only Rs. 75 crore was released while the expenditure was Rs. 173.73 crore.
This year (2010-11) Rs. 103 crore has been allocated while the expenditure is expected to be around Rs. 185.64 crore.
Revised pay scales
While this is the state of affairs, the government had agreed to implement the UGC revised pay scales which would lead to an extra burden of Rs. 123 crore.
With teachers threatening to boycott the examinations and also evaluation if revised salaries were not paid, the university was forced to toe their line transferring funds from the distance education fund and fee account.
“We cannot borrow funds forever and the university will collapse if the government doesn't release all the pending grants,” an official said. Officials say the government has only added to university's woes by agreeing to the UGC revised pay scales and not releasing any funds towards that.
“It took the credit and transferred the headache to the university,” a senior official remarked. In fact, the Vice-Chancellor wrote to the government a few months back detailing the precarious financial position and requesting it to come to the university's rescue.
The Osmania University Vice-Chancellor in his letter said that the salaries for teaching staff for the year are estimated at Rs. 53.64 crore while non-teaching staff salaries are about Rs. 64.84 crore.
The number of pensioners had also gone up and pension payments escalated to Rs. 46.02 crore from Rs. 40.96 crore last year. And there is a likelihood of Rs. 116.73 crore deficit for the current year. But there was no response from the government.
With the funds meant for development of the university diverted to salaries, pensions and day-to-day expenditure, and no response from the government on its financial commitments future of the university looks grim.