• Tuesday, Sep 29, 2020
  • Last Update : 11:43 am

DU to allocate only 1.09% of budget for research

  • Published at 09:09 pm July 22nd, 2020
Dhaka University DU- Syed Zakir Hossain/DT
File photo of Curzon Hall, Dhaka University Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

A total of Tk869.56 crore – the biggest proposed budget in the history of DU – will be placed on Thursday

Dhaka University (DU) is going to allocate 1.09% of the proposed budget for research purposes in the 2020-21 fiscal year.

Only Tk9,47,82,040 is allocated this year for research purposes while it was around Tk9 crore (1.06%) in the revised budget of the outgoing fiscal year. Three years back, in 2017, it was Tk14 crore – some 2% of the total budget.

The proposed budget was approved on Monday in a Syndicate meeting. On Thursday, it will be placed for approval of the senate during the second chapter of the annual Senate session, which was adjourned on June 14. 

Previously, the finance committee approved the budget on June 28.

A total of Tk869.56 crore -- biggest proposed budget ever in the history of DU – will be placed on Thursday.

Of which, University Grants Commission (UGC) will donate Tk748.56 crore (86.03%), some Tk71 crore (8.17%) will be met from the university’s own fund and the rest Tk50.5 crore (5.81%) is in the deficit budget.

According to the sector-wise budget details of the university, 30.71% of the budget is allocated for salary, 24.81% for allowances, 22.74% for supply and service expense, 14.38% for pension and retirement favour, 3.55% for capital grant, and 2.72% for other grants. 

A proposed budget book, obtained by Dhaka Tribune shows that the lion’s share will be expensed against the salary, allowances, and pension of university teachers and officials.

Moreover, examining the non-development budget details, Tk8 crore is proposed for research allocation of the teachers, which was Tk7.2 in 2019-20 fiscal year.

Out of the Tk9.47 crore research allotment in the new budget, Tk7.5 crore will be given to the 56 sectors, projects and centres of DU for research. The rest Tk2 crore will be given as special grants for research projects.  

Also Tk13.91 crore is allocated as the expenses against the research equipment, which includes Tk5 crore against creating infrastructure for research and Tk8.91 crore  against buying research equipment, according to the proposed budget book. 

Necessary financial information could not be collected rather assumption based info are attached for many sectors in the proposed budget as the offices were closed since March due to Covid-19, said DU Treasurer Prof Kamal Uddin in the preface of the proposed budget book. 

“If it becomes necessary to coordinate with any other allocation, it will be done in the revised one,” he added. 

Tk1 crore each has been allocated with two newly created sectors, one to support the teachers financially while publishing their research articles in international journals and another is for education exchange sector for the students at home and abroad, Prof Kamal said in the foreword.

The revised budget for 2019-20 fiscal year was Tk810.42 crore, Tk741.13 crore in 2018-19, Tk664.37 crore in 2017-18, and Tk664.11 crore in 2016-17.

‘A failing public institution’

The outgoing treasurer, who served the university in that post for two terms, blamed the government for lack of equitable attitude towards DU as well as the university administrators disobeying financial regulations. As per his eight years of experience, those two reasons hampered the research and academic works massively, the preface read.

Citing the Asian University Rankings by Times Higher Education, DU stood at 190th+ position in 2016, while in 2020 it is standing beyond 400+, Prof Kamal said: “The expenses during this time has increased by 104%, despite a huge downfall in the quality of education.”

“No visible increase in income of the university in the last five years. So the mandatory title is Failing Public Institution,” he added in the prologue speech. 

If the concerned authorities fail to take any steps in this regard, a disaster is inevitable, the treasurer remarked.

The DU annual budget is traditionally announced on the final senate session of a fiscal year, which was held on June 14 without placing it -- ‘boycotted’ by both the pro vice-chancellors and deans of two faculties -- the senate body adjourned that session instead till July 23, 3:30pm.

DU Treasurer Prof Kamal, who usually announces the budget, was also absent in that session showing cause of being under home-quarantine since he came into contact with a subordinate who was suspected of having Covid-19. 

Prof Kamal informed the DU VC of the matter with a letter on June 7 which also read, faculties, and institutes of the university could not provide the necessary information regarding their requisitions as the university had been closed since mid-March due to the Covid-19 outbreak. As a result, the budget is incomplete.

The July 23rd’s senate session, which was adjourned, will be chaired by DU VC Prof Md Akhtaruzzaman.

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