BU to bring back gold medals

BU to bring back gold medals

N Prabhudev

University Vice Chancellor N Prabhudev, interacting with Deccan Herald on Wednesday, said that a three-pronged approach will be adopted to save money and utilise the same for presenting the medals. The tradition of VC hosting dinner to delegates of international conferences conducted by the varsity and to VIPs on the day of convocation will be stopped from this year.

In addition, the content of gold in the medal will be reduced from 10 gms to 8 gms. A medal  may cost around Rs 10,000, he said.

On an average, the university conducts four to five international conferences every year and on every occasion the VC hosts dinner. This annually costs not less than Rs 6 to 7 lakh. For hosting dinner on the convocation day, Rs 3 to 4 lakh is spent. “We will not be hosting dinners this year. Thus we will save nearly Rs 10 lakh. The gold content in each medal will come down by two gms. Also we will spend Rs 10 lakh from the varsity’s general fund,” Prabhudev said.

Rank holders went disappointed at the convocation on April 30 this year as they received cash prizes in place of gold medals as the donors’ contribution to confer medal was grossly insufficient. About eight years ago, the university stopped presenting gold medals due to funds crunch, the Vice Chancellor said.

The varsity requires Rs 34 lakh to present 207 gold medals. The interest earned from the deposits at present is just Rs 2.24 lakh. Majority of the endowments for the medals do not cross Rs 3,000 to 5,000. The maximum money deposited for a medal is Rs one lakh.

No response

“Some endowments were instituted way back in 1964. Naturally, the interest we are earning is very low. The rate of interest is just 8 pc. We sent three reminders to all the 207 donors seeking more contribution. But there has been no response. Even Mysore and Karnatak Universities are facing the same problem,” the VC said.

Powers with BU

He also said that as per the agreement between BU and the donors, the varsity has the power to convert the medal into a cash prize whenever the interest accruing is not sufficient for a gold medal.

Prabhudev said it was sad to see the meritorious students and their parents going disappointed at the convocation for not getting medals. However, he said, he did not want to approach donors with a begging bowl to raise funds.

Why not set up a corpus fund? For this the VC said that a minimum of Rs five crore will be required which is not possible at this juncture. He also said henceforth the varsity will not accept less than Rs 3.5 lakh as deposit from a donor towards instituting a gold medal.

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