Ministry issues guidelines to central varsities for setting up endowment fund

In an attempt to push central universities to raise funds independently, the Central government has released guidelines to them for setting up endowment fund through donations and contributions.

The document, ‘Guidelines for Central Universities Endowment Fund (CUEF)’, was shared by the Union Ministry of Education with the vice-chancellors of central universities last month, according to which, the norms were framed “for the purpose of mobilising donations, funds and contributions from well-wishers, alumni, philanthropists and industries for the development of students, faculties and institution”.

IIT Delhi was the first in India to set up alumni endowment fund in 2019 and the same was followed by many other IITs and IIMs.

According to the guidelines, the endowment fund will be governed by a 7-member board chaired by the vice-chancellor. The board will have three “prominent” donors nominated by the university’s Executive Council for three years, the university’s Finance Officer, and two professors from different departments or streams. The board will take decisions on the fund utilisation, and table report before the university’s Finance Committee.

The guidelines also allow for FCRA accounts to be opened by institutions expecting foreign donations. They suggest a separate bank account for the fund having two types of donations – those for a specific purpose, such as scholarships, chairs and infrastructure development; and donations for a general corpus.

“A reasonable percentage of the fund, not exceeding 50%, may be spent annually with a view to maintain a good corpus for the future,” states the document.

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