There seems to be a divide within the PU senate members over Haryana government’s decision to help the cash-strapped Panjab University (PU). While few senate members have termed the move as a ‘political stunt’ by the BJP-led government, some are welcoming it.
Speaking on the latest development, senator Dayal Pratap Singh Randhawa said, “The more stake holders we include in PU, the situation will become more complex. The politics between the two states will take over and will put the issues of the university at a lesser priority. Moreover, it is more of a political statement in real sense then sharing any concerns of PU.” He added that if any state wants to help they should do it without any pre-conditions.
Recalling the the Haryana government’s decision in 1974 under Chief Minister Bansi Lal who had disaffiliated its constituent colleges from PU and refused to offer any financial help to the varsity, senator and principal Iqbal Singh Sidhu said, “After 43 years they have realised that they need to help Panjab University. The financial crisis in the varsity has come many times but they never took any interest, it is more of a politically motivated gimmick. The only positive from this will be that it will increase the pressure on the Punjab government.”
PU which is facing a financial crisis since last year, is finding it difficult to meet its deficits due to shortage of grants from the Centre and Punjab government. The varsity at present has a budget of over Rs 515 crore with a deficit of Rs 244 crore. Senate members also mentioned that this will put pressure on the Punjab government to not only increase the grant but to do it at the earliest, “Naturally this will put pressure on the state government to release an increased grant at the earliest as they have affiliated colleges in six major cities like Ludhiana, Firozpur, Fazilka, Muktsar, Moga and Hoshiarpur,” said senator and professor Ronki Ram.
He further added that the Haryana government’s decision to help PU doesn’t come from political influence but from the realization that they were once a part of Punjab and through PU they can again renew their ties.
Meanwhile, senator and former union minister Pawan Kumar Bansal has welcomed the decision of the Haryana Government. “The move is appreciable since it will help the varsity to get over the current financial situation. Moreover, since PU caters to the students of Haryana in such a large number, I feel it is a good move to affiliate its colleges,” he said.