Chandigarh: 28 May:When the teachers, students and lawyers from whole of India are going on vacation, the teachers and students of Panjab University are struggling to save this prestigious University from consigned to history. With the passage of every day they are becoming more emboldened and determined to fight out the unfair treatment meted out to the University that is a repository of the entire academic heritage of the region. Two teachers, M.L. Sharma, S.N. Sanyal, from the department of Bio-physics and six from the department of Physics, M.P. Bansal, K.P. Singh, G.S.S. Saini, S.K. Tripathi, Ashok Kumar and Ranjan Kumar collectively decided to sit on the fast on the 52nd day of the chain fast, demanding central university status for P.U.
Speaking to the correspondents from the dharna site Prof. A.S. Ahluwalia, Chairman Joint Action Committee, clarified that at present the age of retirement of both teaching and non-teaching employees of the University is same, i.e. 60 years, and with the increase in longevity of Indian population there is a proposal in the Centre to enhance it to 62 years uniformly. Allaying the fear of disaffiliation of colleges of Punjab leading to the loss of employment of non-teaching employees, Prof. Ahluwalia added that just opposite is true. Now most of the departments are managing with half the strength of the actual required number of non-teaching staff. Once PU is declared central university, all these vacant openings in the departmental offices and labs would be filled, as there would be sufficient funds for the same.
“The hard earned Pension, which is giving nightmares to many of the employees at the moment as its sustainability is suspected by many, would become a reality and would become part of the budget once the university is declared central,” insisted Prof. Manjit Singh, Coordinator JAC. Moreover, there is always a choice for the non-teaching brethren whether to go for the central scales or stick to Punjab rules, explained Dr. Singh.
When asked that what stakes do the students have in central university status to PU, Dr Singh said, that if we go by JNU rules, the average cost of education would come down to less than 10 per cent of what the students pay at present. That is why parents too should come forward in the open to support the central status to PU.