February 25, 2009 3:20:42 am
Months after the Akali Dal dumped the issue on the backburner,Punjab Education Minister Upinderjit Kaur on Tuesday set the pot simmering by supporting the issue of granting central status to Panjab University.
Academicians,including Vice-Chancellor Prof R C Sobti,have been supporting the idea of central varsity status stating it would bring in additional grants for effective functioning and research at the university.
Addressing the media at the second World Punjabi Conference,Upinderjit Kaur said: I personally support the idea of central university status to Panjab University since it will bring it in the league of top institutions. The Education Minister was,however,quick to add,But the final decision lies with the Chief Minister.
Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal had given a no-objection nod to PU supporting its cause of central status. The state government,however,took a U-turn at the last moment and changed its stand,leaving the PU authorities with no option.
Kaurs statement will sure uplift the sagging hopes of the teaching faculty which has all along stood by the demand for the central status.
The ministers version has come as a ray of hope. We wish that she is also keen to take up our cause with the state government, said Manjit Singh,former president,Panjab University Teachers Association (PUTA). The current president Prof Raunki Ram,meanwhile,expressed his apprehensions regarding the demand,Had the Punjab government been so keen to grant central status,it would never have done a volte-face after a no-objection letter. I do not see anything materialising in the near future. PU has been made a part of dirty politics because of which the matter of central status has got diluted.
Sources,too,maintain that the minister was playing to the gallery and that the deadlock regarding the subject will continue.
They held that as central status will reduce the state governments stake on the university apart from reducing the composition of the Senate to one-third of its original number,the demand will hardly see the light of the day.
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