Projects of MG University Budget Focused on Creating a Knowledge Society

The annual budget for Mahatma Gandhi University for the fiscal year 2024-25 is strategically directed towards initiatives that aim to foster the development of a knowledge-based society. Dr. Biju Thomas, the convener of the Finance Subcommittee of the Syndicate, presented the budget during the Syndicate meeting, presided over by Dr. Beena Mathew, the Vice-Chancellor in charge. The budget outlines a projected revenue of 715.18 crores, an estimated expenditure of 746.42 crores, resulting in a deficit of 31.24 crores.

The proposed projects in the budget are meticulously designed to leverage the most valuable asset—knowledge—for the societal well-being. Considering the prevailing fiscal challenges, the budget places a heightened emphasis on cost reduction compared to previous fiscal years.

The University intends to actively seek financial support from external organisations, as well as state and central governments, to fuel developmental activities. Plans focusing on academic and research sectors will be crafted and implemented without compromising the unique revenue streams.

A one-crore-rupee investment is earmarked for establishing the Institute for Advanced Studies and Research in Hospitality, Tourism, and Food Processing Technology (IASRHTFPT). The institute aims to tap into the expanding opportunities in the fields of food and tourism through advanced academic and research programmes.

In collaboration with leading international academic and research institutions, the institute will offer diploma, degree, postgraduate,and research programmes. Additionally, it will facilitate student and faculty exchanges and conduct exclusive programmes for industry professionals. Collaboration with the hotel industry, business innovation, and food processing technology will be integral to the institute’s activities.

An International Satellite Campus, named after Late Philipose Mar Chrysostom, former Metropolitan of the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian church  will be established on the land provided by the Marthoma Church to the University at Thiruvalla. In connection with the University’s 40th anniversary, this campus will host the International School of Commerce and Management, Mahatma Gandhi Centre for Local Governance and Administration, Mar Chrysostom Centre for Theological Research, and the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research and Learning.

A fund of one crore rupees is set aside for this project, in addition to the one crore offered by the Marthoma Church.

An academic city and science park will be established in the Ettumanur assembly constituency, leveraging the University’s research expertise and the skills of brilliant students. The institution, designed to convert ideas into enterprises, can be initiated as an autonomous institution under the control of the Co-operative department. One crore rupees is allocated for this purpose.

A fund of 50 lakhs has been allocated for the first phase of activities for the International Study Centre, which can commence as an inter-school centre under the School of Environmental Sciences. While the primary focus of the centre is to study the environmental impacts caused by global warming, it will also explore the natural disasters in Kerala and their impacts.

The initial activities for the commencement of four-year degree programmes are supported by a fund of 1.5 crores. A full-time social media cell will be established to enhance the University’s visibility at the national and international levels.

As part of the University’s fortieth-anniversary celebrations, various activities and festive programmes will be organised. The School of Gandhian Thought and Developmental Studies will launch a Master of Social Work programme. A special action plan will be formalised to make the university campuses and affiliated colleges drug-free. Initiatives such as Mahatma Archives, focusing on an in-depth documentation about Gandhiji, and the Gandhi Smruthi Theatre at the administrative block are planned in connection with the anniversary. Rupees 50 lakhs will be allocated for these initiatives.

In the months of April and May, an academic carnival will be conducted with a budget of 20 lakhs. Additionally, a sum of ten lakhs will be available for organising the Youth Campus Carnival to introduce the campus to the public.

The Research Fest, with a budget of two lakhs, aims to familiarise the research community with international academic-research institutions. Additionally, an amount of five lakhs each is allocated for the Open Gymnasium project and the Health Centere of the University.

To provide students with toilet facilities and issue RFID identification cards, an expenditure of two lakhs is estimated. An allocation of five crores has been made in the budget for the functioning of the Complete Solar Campus project. The project aims to install solar panels on the rooftops of all possible buildings.

To enhance employment opportunities for students in affiliated institutions, the Digital Workforce Management System has allocated funds. This system integrates recruitment agencies from various countries into a centralised job fair. As part of the annual celebration, the campus will host a job fair, and the budget also supports the installation of Kasturba Wi-Fi hotspots, providing 24-hour free Wi-Fi service for everyone on campus.

Dr. Biju Thomas announced that a significant portion of the projects presented in the annual budget for 2023-24 has been successfully implemented. The initiation of nine new study departments in emerging fields, as mentioned earlier, did not materialise. However, for the current project, there has been a reallocation of funds, with a million rupees being redirected.

The members of the syndicate, Adv. Job Maichil M. L. A, Adv. Reji Zachariah, P. Harikrishnan, Dr. Nandakumar Kalarikkal, and Registrar in charge Dr.K. Jayachandran, also were present at the press meet.