Students, teachers and opposition slam Haryana government for cutting university grants

Students, teachers and opposition leaders have criticized the BJP-JJP coalition government in Haryana after it cut state university grants and the Ministry of Finance gave its consent to the proposal from the administrative department to approve a loan of 147.75 crore as the first installment for universities for the financial year 2022-23.

According to the latest developments, state universities will now have to bear their own expenses. Previously, the government of Haryana provided multi-million dollar grants to these universities every year for administrative, academic and other works. Instead, universities will now receive loans that must be repaid within a specified period.

According to a government circular, 23.75 crore has been approved for Maharshi Dayanand University (MDU) Rohtak, 59 crores for the University of Kurukshetra, 12.50 crores for BPS Mahila Vishwavidhalya at Khanpur Kalan from Sonepat, 10 crore each for Chaudhary Devi Lal University in Sirsa and Chaudhary Bansi Lal University in Bhiwani, 8.75 crores for Maharshi Balmiki Sanskriti University of Kaithal, 7.25 crores for Dr Bhim Rao National Law University in Sonepat, 6.50 crores for Gurugram University, 5.50 crore for Ch Ranbir Singh University in Jind, and 4.50 crores for Indira Gandhi University in Rewari.

The student wing of the Jannayak Janata Party (JJP), alliance partner of the BJP, the National Chairman of the National Indian Students Organization (INSO), Pradeep Deswal, said the government was doing everything possible to snatch the autonomy of state universities.

“Instead of granting loans to state universities, the government should provide grants so that students can benefit from a low-cost education. If this decision is implemented, students from economically weaker families will not be able to afford an education at these universities,” Deswal said.

“The government decision will foster a gap between poor and rich students because this decision will lead to privatization. The government should revoke this order, otherwise we will make a stir against it,” the INSO chief added.

Vikas Siwach, President of MDU Teachers Union, Rohtak, said the government initially announced the launch of recruitment through the Haryana Personnel Selection Commission (HSSC) and Civil Service Commission. Haryana Public Service (HPSC) and now the government is dragging its feet in giving grants to universities.

“Universities cannot function without financial support from the state government. The university will have to increase the fees to repay the loan amount from the government, if this measure is implemented. We will meet with public representatives from all political parties, urging them to protest the government’s decision,” Siwach added.

Congress Secretary General and former Haryana Minister Randeep Surjewala has criticized the BJP-JJP government for giving its consent to provide Loan amount of 145.47 crore to state universities.

“State universities were to receive a grant of 300 crore but the BJP-JJP government has agreed to give them the first installment of the loan amount at 145.47 crore. The Khattar government is trying to sink the education system through loans. The BJP-JJP government is preventing young people from providing education jobs,” he added.

Ellenabad’s sole INLD MP Abhay Singh Chautala and independent Meham lawmaker Balraj Kundu said that instead of giving grants to universities, the state government had introduced a loan scheme for them.

“We will protest against this government’s approach inside and outside the Assembly. This is an anti-student decision,” they added.

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