Mumbai: Following a prolonged senate meeting for two days, the University of Mumbai (MU) officials finally passed the annual budget of Rs 809.24 crore for the academic year 2020-21 on Friday. This year, there has been an increase of Rs 66.80 crore, compared to the budget of 2019-20.
Focussing on improving infrastructure and curriculum, members of the varsity claimed to enhance the existing facilities. Around Rs 40 crore has been allotted to improve facilities at Thane, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg and Palghar university sub-campus. For the first time, a disable-friendly campus will be constructed for students with special needs with Rs 22.50 crore allocated for the same.
In addition, around Rs 10 crore will be spent on curating curriculum and improving existing curriculum. Alongside, the university has allocated Rs nine crore for constructing Balasaheb Thackeray Centre of Arts and Culture Centre. The university will focus on upgradation of ICT infrastructure, digital library and beautification of the university campus with Rs five crore allocated for each project.
‘Probe Yes Bank deposits’
Despite the recent financial turmoil at Yes Bank, MU deposited funds worth Rs 140 crore in the bank in different phases in February 2020. Senate members on Friday demanded an inquiry in this matter to gain transparency. Supriya Karande, a senate member, said, “How can the university invest such a huge amount in a bank that is going through losses? We want to know who authorised this payment as these funds are public money including fees paid by students who come from weak financial families.”
The university deposited money on February 11, 20 and 29 in Yes Bank. Suhas Pednekar, Vice-Chancellor of MU, said, “We have set up a fact finding committee to investigate this matter and file a report. We will find out details and provide transparency on the use of public funds."
For the hostel accommodation of students from the tribal community, the university has allotted Rs one crore. Suhas Pednekar, Vice Chancellor of MU, said, "We will also focus on construction of new buildings such as School of Languages, international hostel for students, library, examination house and girls' hostel. We will conduct repair work of existing workshop building, girls' hostel and IT park."