Researchers and staff at the Centres for Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy across the country have complained of not receiving salaries for many months, The New Indian Express reported on Tuesday. They feel that this may be a way of shutting down these centres.

In March, the University Grants Commission had refuted reports alleging that it was reducing funding for Centres for Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy across the country. It claimed that the reports were based on a forged letter addressed to the registrar of the Jawaharlal Nehru University.

The commission said it had verified that the letter, purportedly written by UGC Under Secretary Sushma Rathore, was not issued or dispatched by the office.

Some researchers of a few Central universities have not received their salaries for up to 10 months, The New Indian Express reported. “Researchers and staff are penalised for lack of pressure on UGC to promote such a centre,” the report quoted Manipur University Professor Thiyam Bharat Singh as saying. Singh added that the funds for the centre have always been unstable.

Other researchers said that the local university as well as the UGC are to be blamed for the mess. “Universities are not willing to pay out of their pockets,” Professor D C Nanjunda from the University of Mysore told the newspaper. “They wait for reimbursement from UGC because they fear the centre may be discontinued.”

Universities and the UGC, meanwhile, have been blaming each other. While some universities say that the UGC has ignored the importance of these centres, the commission has said that there may be delays in funding because of administrative obstacles.