Syndicate approves price revision from Rs. 5 to Rs. 7
Bangalore University’s midday meals could become dearer for students with the varsity set to charge an extra Rs. 2 for their meals from December. Currently, the ISKCON-supplied meal is being bought by BU for Rs. 13.50, of which the students pay Rs. 5. With the price revision approved by the university’s highest decision making body, the Syndicate, on Monday, the meal will now cost Rs. 17, of which students will now pay Rs. 7.
ISKCON’s demand to hike the price is in view of the rising prices of essential commodities. With the BU - ISKCON contract ending in September, the university has renewed its memorandum of understanding (MoU) with ISKCON for the time being to participate in the mid- day meal programme till a new contractor is identified.
Briefing presspersons, BU Vice-Chancellor B. Thimme Gowda said ISKCON had agreed to continue providing them meals at the rate of Rs. 17 per meal from December, while the price would be Rs. 15 per meal (with students paying Rs.5) in November.
Earlier, the temple trust had expressed its inability to continue supplying meals at Rs 13.50 and had asked for it to be revised to Rs. 18.50 per student.
Having failed to get a response in the e-tender floated earlier, BU will now float its second e-tender. This one would be a regular tender with a time frame of 15 days for participation, said BU Registrar (Administration) K.K. Seethamma. In case there are no responses even to the second e-tender, the arrangement with ISKCON will continue, he added.
Launched in 2011 at Rs. 8 a meal (of which students paid Rs. 3), the mid day meal has been benefitting about 500 PG students and also teaching and non teaching staff in Jnanbharathi campus. Owing to price rise, the cost of the meal had been revised to Rs. 13.50 (of which students paid Rs. 5) in 2012, Ms. Seethamma said.
“Students will also have to buy coupon booklets at the beginning of each month instead of giving single coupons when they buy meals. This is because ISKCON told us that they did not know how many people they should cook for under the present system. The booklets will be made as per the number of working days in each month,” Prof. Gowda said.
The syndicate has also taken cognizance of the need to revise the rent charged at its shopping complex, as also to integrate the street-side vendors on BU’s Jnanabharathi campus into the streamlining process. “We will form a plan to streamline these in a way that the ambience of the campus is maintained by building sheds for them,” Prof. Gowda said.
The syndicate also decided to grant affiliation to 16 more B.Ed colleges. These colleges, among which two have gained fresh affiliation, will join the 26 B.Ed colleges that had been given clearance by BU’s high-level committee to get affiliation for this academic year.
The VC said four B.Ed colleges had gained permanent affiliation: Vijaya Teachers College, R.V. Teachers College, Al-Ameen College of Education and Sri Sarvajna College of Education. The syndicate also decided to play it tough with around 30 B.Ed colleges which had filled government-quota seats on their own without the approval of the government. Prof. Gowda said they will have to get the government’s approval for these admissions for BU to announce the results.