Punjab University Caught Using Research Funds to Pay for Buses
According to a national media outlet, the administration of Punjab University (PU) has reassigned Rs. 30 million in research money to the university’s Transport Wing to cover student bus fees.
This action has been criticized by PU faculty members, who believe that research monies should only be used for academic reasons to maintain the integrity of research activities.
According to sources, the funds were previously approved by PU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr. Khalid Mahmood from the university’s budget under the heading ‘Lumpsum Provision for Research-Improvement of Education’ and placed as an agenda item for official approval at the PU Syndicate meeting on April 29.
The re-appropriation was approved during the meeting, despite opposition from other Syndicate members, including Dr. Asghar Iqbal and Dr. Muhammad Islam. Dr. Islam expressed his dissatisfaction.
Staff members were already struggling to afford expenses for travel grants and other research-related costs owing to stagnating research budgets and rising inflation, thus the decision to divert the monies was received with criticism.
Furthermore, reports show that the university’s research funds are largely underutilized as a result of the university’s time-consuming processes, which creates a discouraging environment for research culture.