New Delhi: The Jawaharlal Nehru Universty (JNU) on Thursday rebutted the students’ union’s charge of a 75 per cent cut in the library budget and termed the media reports based on the allegation “baseless” and the allegation itself “fabrication of facts”.
“Reports in the media that the annual budget for the Dr B. R. Ambedkar (Central) Library of JNU has been reduced from Rs 8 crore to Rs 1.7 crore are completely baseless,” JNU Finance Officer Heeraman Tiwari said in a statement.
He said that the university has been getting only Rs 1.7 crore annually for books and journal subscriptions.
“However, in the year 2012, UGC gave one-time bulk grant to JNU under the 12th plan for five years from which an extra amount was allocated for the next five years. Now that the 12th plan has ended, the library is running with its regular annual grant,” he said, adding that the university has approached the University Grants Commission (UGC) for additional funds for the library.
Replying to the clarification, the JNU Students’ Union alleged that university hid the fact that it got Rs 20 crore for five years, and wondered whether the JNU Vice Chancellor, who is also a UGC member, objected to the library fund cut decision by the Commission.
“The case is clear– library used to have an annual budget of Rs 7-8 crore which administration used to spend from various sources. Now, if one source has dried up or closed, isn’t it the responsibility of the administration to push for alternatives as soon as possible?
“It is important to note that JNU VC Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar is a member of UGC, so if UGC has cut down the funding why didn’t he dissent then? Or was he part of the decision taken to reduce funding for library?” union president N. Sai Balaji said in a statement.
The union had on November 16 made the allegation that the varsity has slashed its library budget from Rs 8 crore to Rs 1.7 crore and does not have funds to renew the subscription of e-journals.