Gets only a share of Rs.10 crore allocation for 5 universities

Friday brought little cheer to Cochin University of Science and Technology (Cusat). Finance Minister K. M. Mani’s Budget has failed to save the varsity, which is reeling under severe financial crisis. The Budget also has nothing to offer in terms of a broad development plan for Cusat.

Except for a share in the Rs. 10 crore total allocation for five universities to set up international and inter-university centres, the State budget seems to have completely ignored the science and technology institution.

The proposal for initiating a Centre for Studies in Intellectual Property Rights in Cusat lacks vision, as the university already owns an inter-university centre for IPR studies.

The question as to why the Minister neglected the scientific and research base of the university by not offering a centre in cutting-edge areas also remains unanswered.

As per estimates by the university’s finance wing, disbursement of salary to the teaching and non-teaching staff will be hit soon thanks to the financial crunch experienced by Cusat. The deficit in the non-plan grant is expected to be around Rs. 67 crore by the beginning of the next financial year.

The university authorities also failed miserably in pushing a development agenda for Cusat going by the neglect it received in the State budget.

Cusat could have easily recommended a vision plan for its prestigious Centre for Science in Society, which has been nurturing the scientific curiosity of thousands of students over the last several years. But it missed the bus for want of concerted efforts to bring in more funds and projects to the campus.

The State Budget had nothing to offer to Cusat last year too, the only saving grace being the K. M. Mani Centre for Budget Studies named after the Finance Minister.

The budgetary allocation for the university, which the government wanted to convert in to an Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, was a meagre Rs. 5 lakh in 2012-13.

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