Four days after the Punjab and Haryana High Court directed the Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) to conduct counselling of nearly 30 students for admission to its College of Veterinary Sciences (COVS) at Rampura Phul in Bathinda and allot 80 seats on the basis of merit, a group of nearly 45 students (already admitted at Rampura Phul College) who fear losing their seats due to re-counselling started a protest at the varsity’s Ludhiana campus Monday.
On Thursday, the high court had directed GADVASU to conduct counselling for admission after a group of nearly 30 students moved court alleging that the varsity flouted admission rules by not allowing them to participate in the counselling process.
The group, which included 28 students who had already got admission in either the College of Veterinary Science (GADVASU campus in Ludhiana) or Khalsa College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Amritsar, for the B.Vsc program in Veterinary Sciences, had moved court alleging that the varsity did not allow them to participate in the counselling for its third college — the College of Veterinary Sciences, Rampura Phul in Bathinda — which was a violation of rules.
The students had petitioned that when they had asked about counselling for the third college, officials had said they would be informed about it, but suddenly on September 30, 2019, the university published a notice around 4 pm calling only “fresh students” for counselling for 80 seats in COVS Rampura Phul. The notice particularly said that students who had already got admission in the two other colleges cannot participate. Moreover, the counselling was scheduled for the same day (January 30) at 9 pm, due to which even some ‘fresh’ students could not reach the venue in time.
On Monday, the other group of students who started the sit-in protest at GADVASU campus in Ludhiana said, “We are not going to accept the high court order or its implementation. It wasn’t our fault that GADVASU did not follow norms earlier and invited only fresh students for counselling on September 30 last year. Now because of the varsity’s mistake, we cannot be told to vacate seats in the middle of session. If they conduct re-counselling, at least 34 of us who are already admitted at Rampura Phul College, will either be shifted to the Amritsar college which is costlier or will be left college-less,” said Manpreet Singh, one of the protesting students.
The protesting students further said that they cannot afford to pay more money now if they are asked to shift to the Amritsar college. “While a seat at the Rampura Phul college is for nearly Rs 2 lakh, the one at Amritsar college is for Rs 4 lakh. We cannot afford to pay for it. It wasn’t our fault if varsity did not follow norms during counselling. Our counselling was also done officially. They cannot punish students now,” said another student.
Students further said that their parents will now be moving Supreme Court to seek a stay on the orders of Punjab and Haryana High Court. “We will also file a review petition in HC,” they said.
Meanwhile, a meeting of protesting students with GADVASU officials failed. Students said the varsity refused to accept their demand to not conduct re-counselling for the Rampura Phul college or increase number of seats or to reduce fee for petitioner students admitted at Amritsar college (but want Rampura Phul due to less fee). “The authorities have refused to accept our demands but we are not lifting protest till this is not sorted out,” said the protesting students.
Dr Sushil Prabhakar, registrar, GADVASU said, “We will just go by what the high court has ordered and admissions in Rampura Phul will be redone as per orders,” he added.
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