The Syndicate members of the University of Madras discussed at length the need to urgently bring in funds to pay pensioners and salaries to the employees at its meeting on Wednesday.

The University has been unable to pay pensioners their dues owing to a severe cash crunch. The University requires around ₹51 crore for the purpose.

“The number of pensioners have increased. If this situation persists, we will struggle to pay the salaries of the employees as well,” said a Syndicate member.

Several members contended that the government was generous with grants for Annamalai University, whereas the University of Madras’s appeals for grants remained unaddressed. “Our pensioners, particularly non-teaching staff, are struggling to make ends meet,” a faculty member said.

“Once the Assembly election dates are announced, the model code of conduct will be enforced. It will then be impossible for the government to provide the grants,” a member said.

In the Senate meeting that took place last November, the issue had also been raised by a nominated member. The University had said that it had temporarily withdrawn from the endowment funds to pay pensions and salaries.

The University has also proposed to introduce new courses in special education in place of those that are not much in demand, a member said.

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