Even as several colleagues of the Panjab University (PU) Vice-Chancellor Arun Kumar Grover differed with his view that Delhi University (DU) had a lot more to offer students than the varsity he runs, some said it was a fair assessment of PU’s dearth of funds.
Talking to Chandigarh Newsline on June 15, Grover had said, “If I was a parent, I would have preferred DU over PU for my children. DU is much more vibrant, it has a national character and there is no competition between Panjab University and DU.”
Harmohinder Singh Lucky, a senator at PU, said, “The statement is totally uncalled for. The Vice-Chancellor should take pride in his own university and should raise its standards, instead of giving the wrong message. Our university also get students from across the country and even from foreign countries. We have the best faculty, best campus and the best environment for the students.”
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Dean, Student Welfare (DSW), Prof Navdeep Goyal said, “Everybody has a personal opinion. My son was getting admission in PEC University of Technology but I preferred UIET for him. It is because the international universities see the rankings of the Institute, the student studied from and PU has a good ranking, whereas DU was nowhere in the International rankings.”
Some professors, who did not wish to be named, claimed that PU has got the most funds during the reign of Prof Grover, who believes that PU lacks adequate funds.
Officials said PU’s total budget for 2015-16 is Rs 555.3 crore. The expected revenue is Rs 245.93 crore. The projected deficit in non-plan budget was Rs 313 crore. PU requires additional funds to the tune of Rs 293 crore.
Dean, faculty of law, Prof G K Chatrath, however, said, “There are no figures to prove the number of students from Chandigarh who take admission in DU. I personally believe that Chandigarh students prefer their own colleges, their own university, our faculty and infrastructure are at par with other good universities. Only a few of the toppers from the city goes to Delhi, who manage to get admission in premier institutes such as St. Stephen’s College, Shri Ram College or Delhi School of Economics.”
Chatrath added that every year, a large number of students from outside the city apply for migration to PU.
Dr R C Sobti, Grover’s predecessor, refused to comment on the matter, saying that everybody has a different opinion.
Former PU vice-chancellor Prof R P Bambah, however, said, “The Vice-Chancellor’s statement shows the disappointment on how the government is treating Panjab University. We lack funds and government is failing to understand that to maintain the standards of the varsity, we need adequate funds. The varsity also needs moral support. Our own students are going out and doing well because we do not have the required infrastructure to offer.”
Meanwhile, Ramajeet Kaur Johal, Dean (International Students), who completed her studies from Delhi, termed the V-C’s statement was ‘objective’ as DU gets the best students from across the country and that DU’s peer group is strong, which is why it has an edge over PU.
PU senator Prof Rupinder Tiwari said it was up to the students which department they wish to choose. “It depends on the quality of education. If a particular department is strong in Delhi University, we will say go there but if the same department at PU is strong, we will urge the student to opt for PU,” added Tiwari.
ABVP blames ‘ineffective functioning’
Levelling allegations against the Panjab University authorities, including the Vice-Chancellor Professor Arun Kumar Grover, students organisation Akhil Bharataiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) condemned the statement by V-C where he mentioned lack of grants as one of the reasons behind the slide in the ranking of the varsity. ABVP members emphasised on the ‘areas of failure’ under the leadership of the V-C, including ‘ineffective’ functioning of the internal quality assurance cell, poor implementation of welfare schemes for SC and ST students, Information and communication Technology (ICT) not being used in teaching and learning programmes and so on.