May 24, 2022 9:30:22 am
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed the Central Government, through the Ministry of Home Affairs and the union Ministry of Education, to consider the issue of conversion of the Panjab University, Chandigarh, into a Central University.
The Bench of Justice Rajbir Sehrawat, while hearing the petition filed by Dr Sangita Bhalla, against state of Punjab and others, said, “Let the decision be taken by the Central Government, at least in principle, be placed before the court on the next date of hearing.” The matter was then adjourned for August 30.
Earlier, the court had pointed out that the case presented a very strange situation. The HC pointed to a Union Home Ministry notification dated March 29, 2022, applying the Central Civil Service Rules to the employees of Chandigarh Administration, including the teachers in the government colleges and institutions of higher education functioning within the Union Territory, Chandigarh.
However, the said notification did not cover teachers working in either aided private colleges or working at Panjab University, Chandigarh. The net result of this situation is that while the lecturers working in government colleges and government institutes of higher education in Chandigarh would be retiring at the age of 65 years, the professors/lecturers working in the teaching departments of Panjab University and those of its affiliated colleges, would be retiring at the age of 60 years as per their existing rules.
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The HC said mere participation of Chandigarh would not make it inter-state Body because the Chandigarh Administration is only the instrumentality of the Central Government. Thus to remove all ambiguities and to clear the confusion prevalent in all the spheres relating to the affairs of the university, the Central Government deserves to consider the formal conversion of Panjab University, Chandigarh, into a Central University.
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