KOCHI: Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit will focus on infrastructure and academic initiatives this fiscal.

The varsity budget gives prominence to improving hostel facilities. Accordingly, two new hostels will come up on the main campus at Kalady. A restroom with hi-tech facilities will be set up for girls. Moreover, hostels will be established at the varsity’s regional centres. The budget projects a revenue of ₹211.83 crore and expenditure of ₹224.39 crore.

Nearly ₹7 crore has been earmarked for the second phase of the fine arts complex project. Other initiatives that will get a boost in the new academic year include overhead water tanks, language blocks, staff quarters, water treatment plants, and stadium. Work on teachers’ quarters will begin soon. Also, land will be identified for Thrissur and Thuravur centres.

Besides, the varsity will offer massive open online courses. Virtual classrooms will be set up on the main and regional campuses. A heritage museum will come up at the Payannur centre. Special assistance will be extended for the construction of performance space for theatre students. The budget has also earmarked funds for short film projects.

In another move, the varsity will support Sanskrit popularisation programmes at 39 model schools across the State. A new model school will be established in the Ottapalam educational district. The International Centre for Sree Sankaracharya Studies and the Strengthening of Sanskrit Studies initiative will jointly offer special training in Sanskrit to the public.

The budget has earmarked funds for extending monthly grant of ₹10,000 to PhD students in the first year of their research and ₹15,000 in the second and third years. M.Phil students will get ₹3,000 a month. The scholarship for undergraduate students pursuing Sanskrit has been increased to ₹350 from ₹250.

A new academic block will come up on the 13-acre regional campus at Koyilandy. Besides, solar power projects will be implemented at all regional centres.