UGC doles out Rs 25 million to campuses not meeting criteria

2019-03-18

Republica National Daily


Ruby Rauniyar, KATHMANDU, March 18: The University Grants Commission (UGC) has decided to distribute Rs 25 million to 26 science campuses to improve their science labs. However, the selection of campuses and the grant allocations have been done arbitrarily by ignoring recommendations made by UGC's own committee formed for the same purpose.

The decision has been taken in collusion with the UGC and TU officials. The grant amounts are set to be released by mid-April.TU Professor Dr Raju Khanal had coordinated the committee that studied current conditions of existing campuses for grant recommendation. But instead of acting on the recommendation, UGC totally ignored it and even went against the recommendation.

The committee had recommended not providing grants to four campuses offering BSC and MSC courses as they do not meet the requirements on infrastructures and the number of students. Yet, UGC has included two of those campuses for grants. Some of the members of UGC have termed the decision as "an act of dishonesty with the students.

"Likewise, two years ago, the commission had provided lab equipment worth a total of Rs 20 million to various colleges. “But we found that those equipment have not been used,” said Nirajan Parajuli, member of the committee.“If there was any question or different opinion on the report we submitted, there should have been discussions,” said Dr Khanal. “Instead, they ignored the report and arbitrarily made the decisions. Such acts cannot be accepted.”

Parasar Koirala, former chairperson of UGC, said the commission should have allocated the funds only after studying the recommendation report. “There should be a clear basis while distributing funds to campuses. The taxpayers' money should not be misused,” added Koirala.                                    

On the other hand, Amrit Science Campus chief Umakanta Lalkarna said UGC had held discussions with all campus chiefs to modernize and upgrade the standards of science labs. “We have been instructed to spend the funds for lab improvement,” he added.