March 29, 2013 1:18:03 am
The Panjab University (PU) Senate meeting held on March 24 witnessed an interesting proposal of introducing additional rural seats in the courses offered by the varsity as the two main state universities- Punjabi University,Patiala and Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU),Amritsar have additional seats for the rural students.
Senator S S Sangha mooted the idea,after he stressed on a study saying that now only four per cent of rural youth reach the varsities for higher studies. If PU provides some quota then there can be a possibility that the percentage might increase.
Endorsing the same,senior senator G K Chatrath said that this could be done after formulating eligibility criteria for the admissions of the rural students.
Interestingly,Sangha said that those students can be made eligible for admissions who do their primary,secondary and higher education from rural areas and the same certificates should be attested and countersigned by the authorities of that area.
Taking stock of the information,the varsity Vice-Chancellor Prof Arun Kumar Grover said that this can be done only after verifying the things and assured the senators that he would look into the proposal.
Prof R S Ghuman of the Economics Department of the Punjabi University,Patiala along with two other professors,Sukhwinder Singh and Jaswinder Singh Brar,had conducted two studies,one in 2005-06 and second in 2008-09 to find out the representation of rural studies in the universities located in Punjab.
In the first study,they found that just 4.4 per cent rural students were studying in the universities. Considering the main universities,the study showed that in PU only 2.27 per cent rural students were studying,in Punjabi University 8 per cent rural students were found,GNDU had only 3 per cent rural students and in Punjab Agriculture University (PAU),Ludhiana the percentage came out to be 4.73 per cent.
The second study was related to professional courses and it was found that only 3.71 per cent students across the state was enrolled in professional courses in the universities.
Talking to Chandigarh Newsline,Sangha said that due to certain reasons universities have failed to come up in rural areas. The higher education report tabled in Parliament in 2006 held that the National Policy on Education 1996 felt the importance of the rural universities to take up the challenges of micro-planning at grassroots for the transformation of the rural areas. The varsity can create two additional seats for rural students.
He added,Rural intelligence is generally terminated by urban cleverness.
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