Various student unions and associations on Monday joined over 100 students of Punjab Technical Universitys (PTU) distance education programme (DEP) outside the Kapurthala campus to demand the removal of vice-chancellor Dr Rajneesh Arora. The protesters gave the state government 10 days to meet their demands or else,they would start a chain hungerstrike and gherao the chief ministers residence.
The agitation was held jointly under the banner of PTU DEP Student Union and PTU DEP LC Union. The protesters claimed that the V-C had indulged in financial irregularity to the tune of Rs 35 crore in connivance with his close aides and friends.
They also slammed the university for failing to obtain the approval of University Grants Commission (UGC) for its distance education programme even after over one-and-a-half year of the start of the courses. Alleging gross mismanagement and PTUs lackadaisical approach towards its students,the demonstrators said that the university has also failed to supply semester books to its DEP students enrolled with various centres across the country.
Recently,the students had handed over a memorandum in this regard to the Chief Ministers Office. But they are yet to receive any response.
Nirmal Singh,president of PTU DEP Student Union,said: It seems that the government has taken the issue lightly. Given the response of the government,it appears that it is not bothered about safeguarding the future and career of lakhs of students across the country,including 50,000 from Punjab.
As the government did not intervene and take required action,we have been forced to stage this protest today. We are giving the government 10 days to take action against the university or we will gherao the CMs residence, said a protester.
PTU DEP Learning Centre Union president Ravinder Kumar said nearly 20,000 professionals working in 2,000 learning centres are on the verge of unemployment. Now when admissions of PTU DEP had been blocked by the high court in the absence of UGC approval,the university has further worsened the scenario by reducing the learning centre share by 10 per cent to accommodate payments to the V-Cs friends, he added.