Closure costs UGC dear: Says it is unable to use World Bank grant

2014-04-05

Himalayan News Service

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KATHMANDU: The University Grants Commission will not be able to make use of millions of rupees made available by the World Bank to fund various projects in universities.

The commission has remained closed for a month after a professors union padlocked it protesting the government’s appointment of commission members without “proper consultations.”

The World Bank has warned to withdraw financial support, said Subash Chandra Dhungel, chief of administration at the commission, at a programme organised by the Education Journalists Network here today.

UCPN-Maoist-aligned Nepal National Professors Organisation (NNPO) had padlocked the commission offices on May 18 protesting the government’s appointment of Ganesh Gurung as chairperson and Bhola Pokharel as member secretary.

Dhungel stated that due to the closure, scholarship programmes, research projects, physical infrastructure development initiatives and regular grants for community colleges have been hit.

NNPO Secretary Purna Lamichhane defended his organisation’s move to shutdown the commission. “The government made the appointments without securing a political consensus,” he said adding that his union was ready to talk to the Education Minister to resolve the issue. Bijaya Silwal, president of UML-aligned Nepal Progressive Professors Organisation, said that since UCPN-Maoist was also a partner in the coalition, NNPO should accept government decisions. 

Similarly, Guna Nidhi Neupane, president of Nepali Congress-aligned Democrats Professors Association, aligned to Nepali Congress, urged all political parties to move ahead with consensus.

(Source: The Himalayantimes: Published on July 13)