UPA's austerity drive proves costly for students

Govt for gradual revision of tuition fees and withdrawal of subsidies


The Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry has issued a directive to the autonomous and statutory bodies under its control, including IITs, IIMs and Central universities, to explore the option of generating resources by revising the tuition fees of students and levying charges for using certain facilities.

Putting conditions on trips by faculty members, the ministry said “utmost economy” should be observed while organising seminars and conferences, and that they should be taken up only when absolutely necessary. “Given the constraints of resources leading to the mandatory cuts in non-salary expenditure, it is expected that the institutions will make efforts to generate additional resources by the gradual revision of tuition fees, levy of user fees, withdrawal of hostel subsidies and other measures,” the directive said.
Strictly banning the purchase of vehicles, the ministry said it should be ensured that advance payments for the execution of contracts are made strictly as per the provisions of the contracts. It added there should be a mandatory cut of 10 per cent in non-plan expenditure in 2009-10. The deduction will be realised from the expenses for domestic and foreign travel, publications, advertising and office expenses.

According to the directive, there should be strict monitoring of projects like construction of buildings to ensure that there is no time and cost overrun, and accountability should be fixed for any lapse. Proper planning should be done before the procurement of equipment so as to ensure synchronisation between the delivery of equipment and creation of necessary infrastructure facilities at the institutes.

Domestic and foreign travel should be strictly regulated, with foreign travel restricted to the barest minimum. The Finance Ministry’s instructions regarding the “Class of Travel” during foreign or domestic trip should be strictly adhered to. Domestic travel should be by the economy class, irrespective of the entitlements. Faculty members and other staff should be encouraged to avail low-fare refundable air ticket facility. Similarly, for payment of TA/DA to non-officials for attending governing board meetings, use of low-fare refundable air tickets may be increasingly resorted to, the directive said.

*Organise seminars only when necessary

* Cut of 10 pc in non-plan expenditure

* Strict ban on purchase of vehicles

* Domestic travel by economy class alone

* Availing low-fare refundable air tickets

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