However, a few of Central and state government agencies have donated some amount to PAU for the celebrations.
Requesting anonymity, a highly placed source from the organising committee, said, “No funds from state government have been used in our celebrations. Neither they gave nor did we ask. We thought it’s not appropriate to ask for funds from government keeping in view the tight financial situation the Punjab government is going through. Not even a single penny from the funds we get for research and other works from state government has been used here.”
PAU has hosted 24 functions as part of the golden jubilee celebrations to date, and the President visit on Tuesday in an international conference is the 25th in a row which will be followed by a special convocation on December 8 to be attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
“PM visit on convocation meet is purely an annual academic and official function of PAU. It has nothing to do with golden jubilee celebrations. It’s just that this year PM will attend it,” said the source.
The varsity has played the host to many other high-profile dignitaries this year during the celebrations including Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, Dr M S Swaminathan, Union Minister of Agriculture Sharad Pawar and Dr Subrahmaniam Nagarajan.
“Our total budget for the golden jubilee celebrations has come nearly to Rs 1 crore out of which hardly Rs 2.5 to 3 lakh came from state government agencies. The three-day international symposium from November 27 to 29 is all a sponsored show. Contrary to all belief, PAU is spending least on the President visit. Even the food of President is coming from New Delhi as per protocol and all maintenance work and security is being done by district administration. Our expenditure mainly constitutes of the three-day conference arrangements.”
“The construction of new roads in the varsity had already its funds sanctioned last year (Rs 3 crore) by Punjab Mandi Board but they are making roads now when President is arriving which is adding to the confusion that some special funds have been issued but it is not so,” said the source.
Reportedly, PAU has kept the registration fee for the conference as Rs 2,000 per student and Rs 4,000 per delegate, and till now more than 1,200 registrations have been received and around Rs 30,00,000 has come from there.
“No doubt we are expecting some grant announcement from PM and President but that money will be strictly used for welfare and infrastructure purposes of the varsity and not on celebrations. Even the grant of Rs 1.5 crore from Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi, will be used for renovation,” said the source.
Out of Rs 1 crore, approximately Rs 40 lakh is left which will be put to use on the PM visit and alumni meet, said the source.
PAU Vice-Chancellor B S Dhillon said, “We are thankful to the state government for increasing our yearly budget to almost double this year but as far as golden jubilee is concernced, we have raised the sponsorships on our own and it is quiet self-sufficient.”
“In the three-day international conference, our major expenses are of food and stationary. Around 1,200 delegates will attend and thus food will cost around Rs 25 lakh, and Rs 10 lakh will be stationary expense as we have to print research papers for all,” said the source.
The rooms for some top 20 delegates have been booked in Hotel Park Plaza and the rest will be accommodated in PAU guesthouses. The President would be taking lunch at Sutton House, PAU. A monument dedicated to agriculture is too coming up on the campus at a cost of Rs 7.8 lakh and will be inaugurated by PM on December 8.
The varsity is also busy making a mega project proposal which will be submitted to the Deputy CM which he asked for on October 17 on Founder’s Day.
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