GU not to take bank loan

V-C goes back on decision, bows to teachers’ lobby
Guwahati, Oct. 23: Gauhati University has gone back on its decision to take a bank loan for creating various facilities and infrastructure at the university, succumbing to pressure from the teachers’ lobby.
A senior official in the university said vice-chancellor Okhil Kumar Medhi held a marathon meeting with representatives of Gauhati University Teachers’ Association (GUTA) on Wednesday evening regarding the current financial status of the university and the planned bank loan.
Medhi assured the teachers’ association that he would raise the matter at the next meeting of the executive council to formally withdraw the decision.
The next meeting is scheduled for the last week of this month or the first week of November.
The official said even though the vice-chancellor during Wednesday’s meeting tried to explain the reasons for considering the bank loan, the teachers were not convinced and continued to pressure him to withdraw the decision.
“The vice-chancellor finally conceded GUTA’s demand. Since the executive council is the highest decision-making body of the university’s affairs, it must give its approval even if a decision is withdrawn or cancelled by the university administration. A majority of the executive council members have been apprised about the teachers’ opposition to the bank loan. The council is also not in favour of offending the strong lobby of teachers,” the official said.
The executive council last month approved the move to take a loan ranging between Rs 3 crore and Rs 5 crore from the State Bank of India to create facilities ostensibly to impress the National Assessment and Accreditation Council to secure five-star status for the university.
The move created a flutter among the faculty with several teachers questioning the university’s ability to repay the loan.
The teachers’ association even launched an agitation against the move.
J.C. Kalita, general secretary of association, thanked the vice-chancellor for his assurance on not going ahead with the bank loan and said they would extend co-operation to the university administration to hunt for alternative sources of funding.
The official said the vice-chancellor had given a detailed account of the university’s present financial status to the teachers during Wednesday’s meeting and sought their help.
The total annual expenditure of the university, including teachers salaries, stand at Rs 47 crore.