By Jagpreet Sandhu , Chandigarh, January29 : “My calibre as a statesman today owes its genesis to the days when I was a member of the Panjab University Campus Students Council,” said Pawan Kumar Bansal, Union Cabinet Minister for Parliamentary Affairs & Water Resources on the occasion of the 2nd Alumni Meet of the Panjab University at its Campus on Friday where he was the Chief Guest.
The Dean Alumni Relations, Professor Neelam Grover welcomed the over 300 alumni, started from the batch of 1938, who had gathered on the occasion. She also gave a brief overview of the activities of the Alumni Relations Department.
The Vice-Chancellor also expressed his gratitude to Shri Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Chief Minister, Haryana who had contributed Rs.3 lac towards the hospitality expenses of the Alumni Meet.
Shri S.C. Kohli, Vice-President, PUAA came in for a special mention by the Vice- Chancellor for his continuous moral and financial support to all PUAA activities. Shri Kohli, like on all previous occasions had donated Rs. 1 lakh towards the expenses of the Meet. Many Vice-Chancellors who were also former Faculty Members of the University were also felicitated. These included Professor A.K. Sahijpal, former Director, UIAMS, PU and currently the Vice-Chancellor of the Baddi University of Emerging Sciences and Technology; Professor D.N. Johar, former Faculty Member of Department of Laws, PU and now the present Vice-Chancellor of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar University, Agra; and Professor Sarabjit Singh Chahal, Vice-Chancellor, Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture and Technology, Udaipur.
Dr. Irshad Kamil, award winning lyricist and playwright found specific mention in the Alumni Meet as the Auditorium resounded to the soaring rhythm of the Panjab University Anthem, ‘Shaan-o-Shauqat,’ composed by him. While accepting his felicitation, Dr. Kamil equated his alma mater to the warmth of his native village and said, “There is no better home coming than to experience once again the carefree life that one can only enjoy under the shelter of one’s parents’ roof – coming to Panjab University is like coming home”. Dr. Kamil announced twin fellowship for the toppers of his parent department, Hindi, in memory of his mother, Begam Iqbal Bano. The topper in M.A. Part-1 would receive a fellowship of Rs.11000/- and while Rs.21000/- would be awarded to the topper in 2nd Year.
Shri Anil Kumar, Home Secretary, Chandigarh and an alumnus from the Department of Laws was also felicitated as was Mrs. Rupan Deol Bajaj, a Punjab Cadre IAS officer. Mrs. Bajaj has served in the Punjab State Information Commission. Others
honoured on the occasion were Shri Balbir Singh Malik, Director General Higher Education, Haryana and Shri Sukhraj Singh, Additional Director General Police, Bhopal. Former Air Chief Marshal O.P. Mehra, the oldest alumnus to register could
not attend the meet due to last minute ill-health despite his enthusiasm to do so. Professor B.S. Brar, Dean University Instruction, PU and Prof. A.K. Bhandari, Registrar and Controller of Examinations, PU were also felicitated.
The felicitation ceremony was followed by a scintillating gidha performance by University students. A mood variation was brought by the Sufiana kalam rendered by the students of the Music Department, interspersed by a nostalgic poem on University life. The cultural programme was ably compered by the Master of Ceremonies, Prof. Surinder Sharma with his trademark humorous touch.