Parliamentary committee scrutinizes the 'Varsity Grants'

Mumbai: A parliamentary committee headed by Mr. Uday Pratap Singh as its chairman and 16 other MPs visited Mumbai to examine the status of Rs 100 crore grants provided under the 2006 Budget for the three renowned and the oldest universities of the country. These varsities include university of Mumbai, university of Calcutta and university of Madras.

The Finance Minister, in February 2006, had provided Rs 100 crore to the three oldest universities in the country- Mumbai, Calcutta and Madras, but till date, each university has only received only Rs 10 crore.

The on-going enquiry by the parliamentary committee is expected to take a notice of the issue and suggest more funds to the three varsities.

Though MPs refused to open up more on what was discussed, sources said the panel is likely to demand that University Grant Commission (UGC) discharge Rs 40 crore for work to initiate before more funds flow in.

The University of Mumbai has plan to establish a centre for nanoscience and nanotechnology with the spending of Rs 100 crore, but due to lack of funds, progress seems to be affected.

However, Senator Members, principals, teachers and students were displeased since the Parliamentary committee members did not spend much time with them. "Only one representative from each group was called in and allowed to speak for two minutes. What does one say in that much time?" questioned senate member Dilip Karande.

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