Special Correspondent

It will be used for modernising buildings

At least 100 of the 126 vacancies would be filled

CHENNAI: The University of Madras hopes to receive a grant of Rs.25 crore from the University Grants Commission during the Eleventh Five Year Plan for constructing and modernising buildings, expanding academic infrastructure and hiring faculty.

The UGC’s Expert Committee visited the university from November 4 to 7. The committee members were critical of the university’s record in filling vacancies in the faculty, many of which remain unfilled for the past five years, according to Vice-Chancellor S. Ramachandran.

Vacancies to be filled

At a meeting with journalists on Monday, he said efforts were being made to remedy the situation and promised that at least 100 of the 126 vacancies would be filled by December, with the rest expected to be filled by the time the next academic year begins in June.

Dr. Ramachandran said the committee was also critical of the university’s poor infrastructure, especially the insufficient hostel facilities and classrooms in need of modernisation.

Much of the expected funding would go towards improving infrastructure, with Rs.3 crore expected for expanding and renovating hostel facilities alone. The university also expected funding to improve Internet speeds and connectivity, upgrade library facilities, buy scientific equipment and maintain the old ones and construct an animal house. It had sought funds to employ 15 new faculty members, mostly for the five new academic and research centres.

During the Tenth Plan, the university received a mere Rs.5.17 crore, but the Vice-Chancellor was confident of a five-fold increase in the UGC’s recommendations to be announced in a month.