Money Matters: SAC Budget Allocation
The Student Activity Centre stands at the helm of all extra-curricular activities taking place in the Institute. The four societies which include the Literary and Cultural Society, Games and Sports Society, Technical Society and the Film and Music Society represent all the clubs which are registered under SAC. These clubs function primarily on the funds allocated to them by the SAC budget. In addition to that, various side projects are undertaken by SAC and funds are also kept for various fests such as Multi-Ethnic, Innovision, and NITRUtsav.
While the primary source of SAC’s Treasuries comes from the SAC fee which amounts to INR 4000 per year, and is paid by the students. It is the distribution of these funds which forms the primary budget of every academic session, and acts as a guideline for the club expenditures, throughout the year.
Current Budget Break-Up:
For the current academic year 2016-2017 the Technical Society has been allocated 18 lakhs, whereas Games and Sports Society has been allocated 21 lakhs, as it was the year before. Likewise, the Literary and Cultural Society has been allocated 15 lakhs and the Film and Music Society has been allocated 13 lakhs. With regard to fests, Innovision has been allocated a sum of 16 lakhs and NU has been allocated 18 lakhs. ISM and Multi-Ethnic fest have been allocated 13 and 10 lakhs, respectively.
One of the pertinent issues faced by the students over the past couple of years is the acute shortage of money during fests. This often results from the inadequate funds vented by the SAC, which is compensated by discrete sponsorships and even by money from the students’ pockets. A possible solution might be the creation of a centralized sponsorship team. To this proposal, SAC President Japes Bera said:
One can always put forth such a proposal and talk to the executive council and take permissions for the same from the director.
The Dean Prof. D.R.K. Parhi also conceded to the fact, "If the creation of such a sponsorship team will aid the students financially, then it should be definitely taken up. However, one mustn’t do this at the cost of one’s academics."
Another relevant query regarding the fests is the disparity seen in the funds allocated for Innovision and NITRUtsav. While Innovision receives 16 lakhs from the SAC, 18 lakhs is allocated for NU. This is a bit perplexing as NITR is essentially a technical institute and also due to the significantly greater turnout for Innovision than NITRUtsav. According to Prof. Parhi:
The budget for Innovision is always flexible. It can be increased or decreased based on the needs and circumstances.
Many a time there are glitches during the transfer of funds from SAC to the respective clubs. Further, often clubs find the resources relegated by SAC as inadequate, falling short of the requisite amount essential for the smooth functioning of the club. When asked about this problem faced by some of the clubs, SAC President, Prof. Japes Bera said:
The VPs and the conveners of the societies decide about the distribution of the money to the clubs. Hence, all such issues and hindrances can be addressed by them.
Another possible solution to the aforementioned problem is to view the financial ladder from a bottoms-up perspective. If the clubs hand in their tentative budgets first, and the VPs of the respective societies then work accordingly setting the miscellaneous fee, there wouldn’t be a shortage of funds. However, it should be a mutual decision benefiting both the students and the VPs. Further, the clubs facing such difficulties can always try to attract sponsors through expertise in their forte.
As far as written records of the transactions are concerned, it is noteworthy that both SAC in general and the various clubs, in particular, maintain separate records.
In the previous academic year, SAC had set aside an amount of 8 lakhs for the website development and advertisement. However, there hasn’t been any progress on that front so far. According to the SAC President, Prof. Japes Bera, the money is flexible and may be utilized for other activities such as club development or to make ends meet during the fests.