Mohali, 9 April, 2020 (Yes Punjab news)
Due to the non-payment of salaries from last few months, the future of more than 1 lakh teaching and Non- teaching staff members of around 1650 Unaided Colleges of Punjab hangs in the air. The salaries have not been paid since the last 5-10 months in various colleges. Moreover, because of coronavirus lockdown, staff is still hopeless to get their salaries in near future.
College Management is not able to pay them salaries because Post Matric Scholarship funds amounting to Rs 1850 crore of around 36-48 months are due towards the Centre Govt.
Technical Colleges on the verge of closure due to nonpayment:
President, Punjab Unaided Technical Institutions Association (PUTIA), Dr. Gurmeet Singh Dhaliwal & President, Punjab Unaided Colleges Association, Dr. Anshu Kataria said that admissions in technical colleges have already reduced to 50%. Kataria added that they were hopeful to get around 500 crore released from the Centre Govt before 31st March but due to lockdown no funds have been released due to which salaries are unpaid.
S Rajinder Dhanoa, Polytechnic Association and Mr. Shimanshu Gupta, ITI Association said that unlike the duration of Technical courses, duration of ITI course is just of 1/1.5 year while Polytechnic Diploma is of 3 years. Students have already passed out from their colleges but the scholarships have not been released yet. Now as per the Govt order, the scholarships would be released to the accounts of the students due to which colleges are in trouble. Shimanshu further added that not only this, Govt is reimbursing just Rs 3350/- annually instead of govt fixed fees Rs 19,315/- annually.
B.Ed Colleges not getting the promised payment:
Sh. Jagjit Singh, President, B.Ed Federation and School Association; S. Nirmal Singh, ETT Federation; Mr. Jasnik Singh, B.Ed Association; Dr. Satwinder Sandhu, B.Ed Association GNDU Colleges said that there are around 190 B.Ed colleges in Punjab.
Since last one year they are following up with the Govt at various levels to implement the fee structure which was fixed by the Govt itself for the Unaided Colleges i.e 68,370/- per year.
But the Govt finally reimbursed only Rs 15,600 per year to the B.Ed colleges and for ETT colleges, Govt fees is Rs 40,000/- while reimbursement is only of Rs 8350/- to the Unaided colleges. Neither the Govt nor the students are paying the difference due to which the B.Ed colleges are in big dilemma that from next year who will pay the fees, Govt or student?
Majority girls doing Nursing are of SC category:
Mr. Charanjit Singh Walia, President, Nursing Colleges Association said that in this situation all the students and staff of Nursing colleges are with the Govt. Walia further added that 33% population in Punjab is SC and rural girls preferred to do nursing as they easily get jobs after completion. Nursing colleges are finding it tough to run the colleges due to nonpayment of funds.
Doaba belt colleges adversely affected:
Sh. Anil Chopra, Confederation of Punjab Unaided Institutions; Sh. Vipin Sharma, Confederation of Unaided Colleges Association & S. Manjit Singh, Senior Vice President, PUTIA said that the colleges of Doaba belt are adversely affected because the majority SC population belongs to Doaba region.
They urged the Govt to release the payment at the earliest to save the future of the colleges. In the past, students have protested many times against the colleges but on the request of administration, colleges have to make the students appear in the examinations but neither the students have paid their fees nor the Govt has reimbursed the PMS funds making the survival of these colleges very tough.
Least fee structure for degree courses but still unpaid from last 3 years:
S. Sukhmander Singh Chatha, Punjab Unaided Degree Colleges Association (PUDCA) said that the students of rural and poor families preferred to do BA, B.Com etc courses in degree colleges with the fees of just Rs 12,000 to Rs 20,000 annually. “How would degree colleges run their show with such a low fees structure and without getting scholarship for 3 years? Chatha questioned.
Dr. Anshu Kataria, Spokesman, JAC while speaking said that Rs 415.60 crore of Post Matric Scholarship (PMS) scheme for the year 2016-17, Rs 538 crore for the year 2017-18; Rs 437.19 crore for the Year 2018-19 and around 450 crore of 2019-20 is due towards the Govt. Kataria urged the Govt to pay the due amount at the earliest to bail out the unaided colleges from financial crunch.