Punjab Assembly passes resolution against Centre’s ‘bid’ to change ‘status’ of Panjab University

The Punjab Assembly on Thursday passed a resolution by voice vote against the Centre’s alleged move to change the “status” of Panjab University, saying any decision to change the “character” of the university would not be acceptable to the people of the state. . However, the BJP along with two of its MLAs Ashwini Sharma and Jangi Lal Mahajan in the 117-member state assembly opposed it, asking whether there was actually a proposal to convert the institution’s status to a central university.

The proposal was introduced by Punjab education Minister Gurmeet Singh Meet Hare said that Punjab University has the right of Punjab and the state government will not allow the Center to change its nature and character. “Punjab University is our heritage and it is a matter of identity for us,” the minister said. “This House is concerned about the attempts by some vested interests to pursue the matter with one or the other pretext to change the status of Panjab University to Central University,” the resolution said.

The House acknowledges and accepts that the Panjab University was revived with an Act of the State of Punjab, namely the Panjab University Act 1947 after independence, and later with the reorganization of the State of Punjab in 1966, giving it a distinction. was declared as a state. A body incorporated under section 72(1) of the Punjab Reorganization Act, 1966 enacted by the Parliament. Since its inception, Panjab University has been functioning continuously and uninterruptedly in the state of Punjab, the resolution states.

Despite the fact that the states of Haryana and Himachal stopped giving their share of maintenance deficit grants to the university, Punjab has increased its share from 20 per cent to 40 per cent and has been paying it continuously since 1976, Hare said. .

“This House has observed that the University is unilaterally managing and handling its financial affairs. However, the state of Punjab has increased the grant-in-aid from Rs 20 crore to Rs 45.30 crore during the financial year 2020-21, which is an increase of over 75 per cent. In addition, about Rs 100 crore is collected annually by the university from affiliated colleges located in Punjab, Hare said. “This House feels strongly and unanimously that any decision to change the character of the Panjab University will not be acceptable to the people of Punjab and, therefore, strongly recommends that the Government may, upon any change in the nature and character of this University should not be considered by India,” he said while reading out the resolution.

It has been said in the resolution that if any proposal for this is under consideration, it should be removed with immediate effect. “This House strongly recommends to the State Government to take up the matter with the Central Government so that there is no change in the nature and character of the Panjab University,” it said.

Participating in the discussion, BJP MLA Jangi Lal Mahajan said, “I am surprised that a resolution has been brought on an issue which does not exist. He asked whether the Center has sent any proposal to make PU a central university or has received any letter from the state government or any statement from the representative of the central government. “When there is no such thing, then why is it believed that PU will be converted into a central university,” he said.

Mahajan said, I want to clarify that the Center has no such proposal or intention. BJP MLA Ashwini Sharma also said that there is no need for such a proposal when there is no move to convert PU into a central university.

Congress MLA Pargat Singh, however, supported the resolution saying that the sentiments of the people of Punjab are related to PU. Congress MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira accused the Center of trying to capture PU from Punjab.

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) MLA Manpreet Singh Ayali also supported the motion. A week ago, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann had sought the intervention of Union ministers Amit Shah and Dharmendra Pradhan to prevent “any change in the nature and character of Punjab University” here.

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