There is some bad news for the students of Punjab and adjoining states,who want to enroll in one-year diplomas and short-term professional courses in Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) after completing Classes X and XII.
The university has shut down around 10 such courses. These include post graduate diplomas in agricultural journalism and mass communication most sought after courses offered by PAU. The reason: The courses were receiving less and non-serious students.
The university website,however,shows that PAU is still offering these courses. After consulting the website,when the students wanted to take admission,the students were told by university officials that these courses have been closed.
According to PAU,courses of its PAUs College of Home Science and College of Basic Sciences and Humanities were not getting serious students and thus were shut down. The others include post graduate diploma in herbal and aromatic plants,post graduate diploma in agricultural journalism (started in 2005) and mass communication from College of Basic Sciences and Humanities.
A PAU professor on condition of anonymity said: These courses have turned into white elephants,as not only these were getting less students but also non-serious ones who just came to spend their time. For the last two to three years,the university budget has fallen short of the required funds and thus,it was decided to close these subjects.
Post graduate diploma in agricultural journalism has been closed this session,as there was no response from the students. However,we are planning to open PhD in the same subject, said a professor.
College of Home Science,one of the best in the region,has shut eight courses in a phased manner since 2009. These include one-year courses in interior design,fashion design,nutrition and dietics,food preserving and bakery,management of creche and nursery school and farm woman training progamme. Three-month courses in child care and souvenirs and handicrafts have too been shut owing to non-affordability and lack of students.
Students are not serious and come just to spend their time here. So,we have closed these courses. We will update the website shortly, said Dr Neelam Grewal,Dean of College of Home Science.
When contacted,PAU Vice-Chancellor Dr B S Dhillon,said: I am not aware of so many courses being closed. But this has been the case then there must have been lack of response from students. Budget is not a problem.
In such circumstances,the College of Agriculture has started the one-year diploma in hybrid seeds production with 20 seats from this session. Also,short term courses of gardening supervision and young farmers training are continuing with good response, Dr H S Dhaliwal,Dean of the college said.