The department bears Rs. 24 crore every month on salaries of over 11,000 staff in 99 aided colleges — 5% more would cost the exchequer Rs. 1.2 crore
While economists and various ministries at the union and state level are grappling with inflation, it continues to claim victims. The latest being the state's higher educational institutions.
All private institutions aided by the Department of Higher Education (salary grant only) have been hit by the crisis in the absence of a non-salary grant which was available till 2003. The government stopped it, citing a "fund crunch". Over a dozen college principals met on Friday at a Chembur college to decide the course of action.
Principal of Chembur Mahavidyalaya, VD Javlekar told DNA, "On October 18, the HC has given orders to release non-salary grant to physical education colleges. The order should be applicable to all aided institutions."
Principal of Rizvi College, Dr N Farookhi said, "Building maintenance is very costly, so are electricity and water bills. Eight years ago, a non-salary grant was used for lab equipment, development, power and water bills, stationery etc. But now we have to pay for everything from our own pockets but for how long?"
A higher education official said, "Non-salary grant used to be 5% of the salary grant. The department bears Rs. 24 crore every month on salaries of over 11,000 staff in 99 aided colleges — 5% more would cost the exchequer Rs. 1.2 crore." Higher and technical education minister Rajesh Tope was unable for comment.