Updated: May 7, 2016 10:06:32 am
For the second time since it was set up in 1892, the historic Khalsa College’s Amritsar campus is set to lose a big chunk of its land to another university.
Originally endowed with 670 acres, Khalsa College lost half of this to Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU) when it was set up in 1969. Now, according to Khalsa College principal Mehal Singh, Khalsa College Governing Council (KCGC) will part with 56 acres to set up the private Khalsa University in Amritsar.
KCGC, which runs Khalsa College, sold 340 acres land to the Punjab government for Rs 32 lakh to set up the GNDU, a public institution.
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A compilation of KCGC’s history published by its honorary secretary Rajinder Mohan Singh Chhina’s says the council had later “repented” the decision.
Now, KCGC will part with the institution’s land once again, this time for an eponymous university.
KCGC will run the varsity. But unlike Khalsa College, a government-aided institute, the university will be self-financed. There is nothing yet to show that Khalsa University will receive assistance from the government
Mehal Singh said Khalsa College would not share any other land on the campus with the university, which has been cleared by the education department and is waiting the Chief Minister’s approval.
“The university will come up on around 56 acres. We have total 330 acres. We will be left with that, minus 56 acres,” said the Khalsa College principal.
KCGC has been secretive about the project, divulging few details about the distribution of assets between Khalsa College and the proposed university. College officials maintain that the university will be a separate entity and will not affect the unique standing of the 124-year-old college in Punjab.
“All the colleges that would be part of the university collectively own 56 acres and the varsity will be constructed on this plot only,” said Mehal Singh.
Asked how that would account for the 125 acres of Khalsa College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (KCVAS), which is to be part of the university, Mehal Singh said the agriculture farm land would remain with Khalsa College and so would the hostels and sports grounds.
The two schools on the campus use the sports grounds.
Asked if students of the proposed university would be allowed to use the hostels and sports grounds of Khalsa College, he said, “No. We will not allow university to use these. Sports grounds and hostels belongs to us (Khalsa College).”
‘Does CM want to dilute Khalsa College heritage?’
“Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal should decide if he wants kaum (Sikh community) to remember him for diluting the heritage and history of Khalsa College and make it an orphan by snatching its land for a private university,” said former KCGC secretary and former president of Chief Khalsa Diwan, Bhag Singh Anakhi.
“I do not oppose the proposal of private Khalsa University. But I am not able to understand why they want to set it up on the land of Khalsa College, Amritsar. They have 150 acres in Bhogpur of Jalandhar. But why here on the campus of Khalsa College? May be just because its land has high real estate value, unlike Bhogpur,” said Anakhi.
Anakhi was not convinced with the figures suggested by the Khalsa College principal. “You should check the revenue records. I am concerned that Khalsa College would not be left with more than 50 acres of land. Most of its land has been already sanctioned to different education institutes and with the setting up of the university, Khalsa college will become an orphan. The land of Khalsa College was its asset for good and bad times,” said Anakhi.
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