Published: 02nd September 2021
JNU's revenue doubled in the past two years, expenditure down by 30 per cent. Where is the money, asks JNUTA
The JNUTA said that the fall in academic expenditure is substantial. Almost all heads under academic expenses, barring three, have registered a fall
The Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers' Association has alleged that the university has been involved in financial irregularities over the past four years — during the tenure of the current Vice-Chancellor, Dr Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar. In a recent statement, the teachers said that the revenue or the money earned from fees and various other sources have doubled in the past two years but the expenditure on academic activities have gone down by 30 per cent.
Citing annual accounts submitted by the JNU administration, the JNUTA said that there has been a substantial drop of Rs 17 crores — from Rs 137 crores (2012-13 to 2015-16) to Rs 120 crores (2016-17 to 2019-20) — when it comes to academic expenditures. "JNU has introduced new courses in management and engineering where they charge an unsubsidised fee. This has increased the academic receipts in the past few years. Between 2018-19 and 2019-20, academic receipts have more than doubled, the academic expenditure has gone down by more than 30 per cent. Between 2018-19 and 2019-20, while the academic receipts have gone up by 3 crores (more than double), the academic expenditure has fallen by 8 crores," said Dr Moushumi Basu, Secretary of the JNUTA.
The JNUTA said that the fall in academic expenditure is substantial. Almost all heads under academic expenses, barring three, have registered a fall. "While the reduction in expenses in fieldwork and teaching aid can probably be explained by the pandemic situation and online teaching in the year 2020-21, a fall of 72 per cent and 45 per cent respectively under these heads a year before the pandemic hit require explanation," the JNUTA statement pointed out. The document also points out that there was an 84 per cent reduction (Rs 2.37 crores) in lab running expenses, 13.7 per cent ( Rs 2.02 crores) decline in student welfare fund, 6.8 per cent decline in students’ scholarship and stipend — from 2017-18, it saw a sixfold decline from Rs 18.2 crores in 2017-18 to Rs 2.3 crores in 2019-20. The JNUTA added that there has been a substantial decline in the Journal and Publications as well — 58 per cent (by Rs. 1.6 crores). In 2020, while online teaching was on, these were about the only resources that both the students and teachers depended on with no other online infrastructural support to either group from the university, they added.
Another issue that the JNUTA pointed out was the expenditure on the JNU Entrance Examinations ever since the National Testing Agency (NTA) took over. "There has been no submission of accounts provided for expenditure incurred on the JNU Entrance Examinations conducted with the help of the National Testing Agency over the last two years. This has been acknowledged both by the JNU administration and the NTA in replies filed on RTI applications by the JNUTA," said Dr Basu.
Besides these, the teachers also said that there are regular incidents of workers including sanitation staff, gardeners, computer operators employed on a contractual basis not receiving their salaries for months. "There are also complaints of financial irregularities that have been brought to the notice of the MOE concerning senior members of the administration," they said.
The JNU administration has not responded to questions about the issue. This copy will be updated as and when they reply.