A three-member committee set up by Higher and Technical Education Minister Rajesh Tope will visit the Abhinav Kala Mahavidyalay run by the academic trust Bharatiya Kala Prasarini Sabha (BKPS) on Friday. The college is on the verge of closing down because of a financial crisis.
The members of the committee are from JJ School of Art, Mumbai, and Chitrakala Vidyalaya, Nagpur. “We have been promised that college campuses won’t be shut down and before taking any action the committee set up by the state will inspect the college and will come out with a detailed report,” Bharatiya Vidyarthi Sena (BVS) city unit students’ convener Manisha Dharne said.
According to the management, the aided units of the college have been receiving grants from the government for salaries of teaching and non-teaching staff, while 10 per cent of the cost is borne by the BKPS. Since the 10 per cent financial burden has gone up to Rs 20 lakh in the last few years because of the Fifth and Sixth Pay Commissions, the management claimed it does not have that kind of money to bear the burden and the government has refused to shoulder 100 per cent financial burden for the aided units.
As a result, the college management has decided to shut down its campus, a move that is nound to affect many students adversely. “It is difficult for the college to pay 10 per cent of the salary as there is no source of income. We want the state to give us 100 per cent grant. Every year, the trust spends Rs 20 lakh to pay 10 per cent of the salaries,” Bhalchandra Pathak, trust secretary, BKPS, said.
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Abhinav Kala Mahavidyalay was started in 1925 and has the reputation of being one of the best art colleges with the best faculty and infrastructure. The only government-aided college of its kind in the city, it is considered next only to the JJ School of Art in Mumbai.