Mumbai: Departments of Lifelong Learning & Extension (DLLE) in Maharashtra
were up for a rude shock early this month over the sudden discontinuation of funds allotted to them by the University Grants Commission (UGC). DLLEs in 80 universities across the country also had to face the wrath of the commission.
In a letter dated May 29th, addressed to the Registrar of University of Mumbai, the UGC has communicated that funding to DLLE departments of all seven universities in Maharashtra including Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Marathwada and Jalgaon has been discontinued
since early this month.
"We haven`t been given any reason for this decision. In fact, a few months ago we had plans to be introduced as a subject in the first year BA curriculum," explains Professor Kunal
Jadhav, University of Mumbai.
Following the sudden development, DLLE heads from all seven universities along with 20 senior faculty members of the course have decided to meet on June 28th at Pune University to discuss the matter.
"We will take a call on how to confront the UGC and draft a proposal for the same which will be sent to Delhi," explains Dilip Patil, director, DLLE, Mumbai University.
"DLLEs from universities across the country have also sent their proposal on the discontinuation of funds," he further informs.
The fax received by the University of Mumbai states that the University is requested to settle the accounts against the grant sanctioned to the department during 2012-13.
The expenditure incurred during 2013-14 up to May 31st, 2013 would be accepted by the commission for the purpose of admitting expenditure and reimbursement of the grant to the university if any.
"Generally funds are discontinued when a department is not performing well. Maybe DLLEs in some universities in other parts of the country are not doing well, hence this step has been taken," speculates Patil.
The department is allotted approximately Rs 10 lakh per year, and also a grant of Rs 5 lakhs every five years from the commission.
Under the 11th five year plan period (2007-12), the existing departments of all the 80 universities in India, including seven in Maharashtra, the scheme of Lifelong Learning and Extension was renamed as DLLE and was to be introduced as a subject in the Arts degree course.