Clarity on NAAC Infra related Metrics- Budget Planning & Expenditure
* NAAC seeks expenses incurred by HEI over the 5 years, year-wise under 3 budget heads as under:-
1. Development & Augmenting of infra :- optimum benchmarked at 40% of the total expenses (minus salary payouts)
2. Library : Books, e books, journals, e journals and databases benchmarked at 10% of total expenses (minus salary)
3. Maintenance of physical and academic infra benchmarked at 30% of total budget (minus salary).
Hence, total of 80% of budget minus salary is expected by the NAAC to be spent on the above mentioned Heads. The balance 20% left is expected to be spent on all the remaining expenditures of running a university. It is opined that this 20% is too meagre to cater for so many left over very critical needs. It therefore calls for the NAAC to revise the optimum benchmarks immediately. Will it do ?
Other Expenses not fully visualised by the NAAC These require at least 30% of the budgeted expenses. 20% left after meeting NAAC mandate, won’t suffice. Let us take a look:-
Typically, other expenses include, but not limited to FDPs, Skill enhancement, Incubation and equipment/software support to Innovation cell, Seminars, National/international conferences, industry visits, foreign immersion, including logistics, travel of faculty n’ students, participation of faculty in conferences, incentives for research and patents, stipends to medical interns, assistance to PhD scholars, seed money, membership of professional professional bodies and support to clubs, Neighnour-hood extension activities and support projects, social and national events, convocation, printing of brochures/reports etc. marketing expenses for admission, expenses related to logistics of Indian and foreign expert talks/mentoring, transport management, insurance, welfare schemes, contribution to Provident fund/ESI, students support schemes for alternative career and outreach activities like project presentations, sports/events participation outside of university campus, hostel subsidy, scholarships running into crores etc.
Hence benchmarks set by the NAAC are not in sync with the above and need a revision. I recommend for a university, medical and technical college expenses as (1) above as 35% (2) as 5% (3) as 20% (Other expenses-as 35%. The above expenses for a PGDM/degree college would vary as they won’t require enhanced expenses on (1) and (3)
Now, let me cover only one aspect i.e INFRA and share my experience on how to plan budget n’ manage it.
Development n’ Augmentation” of infra
(A) Development :- Infra typically can be divided into (Physical and Academic)
Physical Infra :-
Physical are the buildings, convocation hall, Auditorium, Gym, Swimming Pool, sports fields, stadiums, amphitheatre and associated equipping with generators, AC units etc. It would also include alternative clean energy equipment and water as well as environment conservation infra.
are smart classrooms, labs, instrument research labs, studios, workshops, equipment, software, HMS, including ERP, Examination Reform Software. Innovation n’ incubation centre, equipping professional and hobby clubs etc.
(B) *Infra Augmenting” Any institute would continue to augment and enhance infra to cater for its envisaged development. The allocation will depend on various factors depending on the status of HEI’s physical and academic infra, and the need to enhance it to meet future demands placed on the HEI. So when you plan any annual infra budget or reflect expenses in the NAAC SSR, don’t forget to include above aspects.