27 Oct : PUTA delegation submitted a memorandum to Shri Kapil Sibal, Union Minister of Human Resource Development on the issue of granting the status of Central University to Panjab University. While appreciating the Union Government’s gesture of providing a special grant of Rs. 50 crore to PU, the Association requested the Minister to make PU, a Central University so that its financial problems are taken care of on a firm structural basis. One-time grants do help, but such measures fall short of providing a sustained mechanism to tackle the financial crunch which PU has been facing for so long now. The Minister once again reiterated the Union Govt.’s willingness to make PU, a Central University, provided Punjab Govt. gives its nod. Such a stance obviously does not help us much.
PUTA however appreciates some of the other observations that Shri. Sibal made on the occasion. Without mincing words, the Minister said that the existing administrative bodies (such executive council, academic council) of the Universities are too cumbersome and too politicized to take the enterprise of higher education forward in future. He underlined the need of amending fundamentally the statutes and the Acts so that the Universities could be geared for meeting the future challenges. Shri Sibal also emphasized on paying special attention to humanities and social sciences.