CHANDIGARH – March 31, 2008: Teachers and students of Panjab University today held a joint protest rally at the Students Centre at the call of PUTA and Students Council. One after the other speakers at the rally criticized the callous attitude of the politicians towards the future of Panjab University. While they are settling their political scores, the financial health of the University has deteriorated to a point from where it will be difficult to save its prestige. Addressing the rally Prof . A.S. Ahluwalia said that when Punjab has already got two central universities, one of them world-class university at Amritsar, in addition to one IIT, why Panjab University is being made victim to the narrow politics for power. The growth and well-being of the academic institutes of the repute of Panjab University is the responsibility of the entire nation, all the more, of the Punjab Government. Prof. Ahluwalia regretted the evasive attitude of S. Prakash Singh Badal, Chief Minister Punjab, when requested to allow us to secure 100 per cent financial grant from the Union Government as offered by the MHRD.Prof. Manjit Singh, Secretary PUTA, questioned the Punjab Government that in what way their claim over U.T. has diluted with the opening up of centrally funded institutes in Chandigarh such as PGI, Panjab Engineering College, IMTECH and CSIO. In fact PEC has been declared deemed university by virtue of its quality of education that could happen due to liberal funding from the Union Government. Giving comparative figures from the recent budget of PGI and IMTECH, Prof. Singh showed that the respective percentage of plan budget to non-plan in PGI and IMTECH are nearly 200 per cent and 300 per cent whereas in Punjab University it is sheer 13 per cent. “How can one dream of a moon from P.U. where even the salaries of the teachers are not secure, what to talk of research of ‘world-class’, Prof Manjit Singh asked. He promised the fellow community members that PUTA leadership will not leave this issue in the mid-way and struggle till the university is made central.Sh Parminder Jaswal, President Students Council also addressed the rally. He assured full support to the agitation and offered to go on fast if needed. Prof. R.S. Grewal, Director University Institute of Legal Studies explained the Government of Punjab has no right to stop funding or release any amount arbitrarily. Prof. A.D. Ahluwalia, Department of Geology, and Prof. G.S. Brar also addressed the rally and said that we need not be defensive for the only reason that we fall within a U.T, according to Manjit Singh, Secretary, PUTA.