Universities seek financial autonomy

Shimla: The vice chancellors of universities in north India Saturday called for financial autonomy for varsities.

A two-day meeting of the Association of Indian Universities (north zone) that concluded here passed a “Shimla Declaration” that also advocated the need for financial support by the respective state governments.

Association president P.T. Pandey told reporters that nearly 80 percent of students were getting education in the state universities and they were facing financial crunch.

“Lack of finances has led to deterioration in the service conditions of teachers in the universities. This anomaly needs to be rectified at the earliest. The other issues that need to be addressed are retirement age of the teachers and the tenure of the vice chancellor,” he said.

Pandey said a corpus should be created with the help of the central government and corporate houses to support the older universities that have dilapidated infrastructure.

Association general secretary A.D.N. Bajpai also advocated the need for inter-university collaborations to avoid brain-drain.

“To achieve this, it is necessary that the universities should work together and share resources,” said Bajpai, who is also the vice chancellor of Shimla-based Himachal Pradesh University.

A total of 35 vice chancellors from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal participated in the meeting.