Education

Gold prices pinch universities too

A. J. Vinayak Mangalore | Updated on February 25, 2013

Skyrocketing gold prices do not affect only the common man, they affect universities too.

To honour meritorious students, many donors institute endowment gold medals in universities. For this, such people donate a sum fixed by the university concerned.

In the last few years, the price of gold has witnessed a significant increase, but there has not been a corresponding increase in the sum donated. This has become a problem for universities.

T.C. Shivashankara Murthy, Vice-Chancellor of Mangalore University, told Business Line that his university had been spending around Rs 4,000 for every gold medal till four years ago. With the current prices, however, now it costs around Rs 6,580 for every gold medal.

Earlier, universities collected Rs 50,000 from donors and using the interest earned on the deposits for the medals.

In light of the rise in gold rates, the university has requested donors to increase the sum to Rs 1 lakh.

About 25-30 per cent of the donors have complied, but the rest have asked the university to convert the medals to cash prizes.

Murthy said the university awarded 36 gold medals at the 31st convocation on February 23.

The total amount required for these medals was around Rs 2.36 lakh, and they had a shortfall of around Rs 43,600. However, they were not converting the medals into cash prize.

“We could have given cash prizes in place of gold medals. But the Syndicate members did not want to disappoint the meritorious students who were eligible for gold medals. That is why we decided to bear the shortfall from university funds,” he said.

> vinayak.aj@thehindu.co.in

Published on February 25, 2013

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